Shillong, Feb 14: The Shillong Sports Association has invited interested teams from East Khasi Hills to take part in the Women’s Football League Tournament 2022.

The league has been given a tentative starting date of 21st March, a release signed by SSA General Secretary SS Rapthap said.

If the initiative gets off the ground, it will be a welcome event in Shillong’s football calendar, as the women’s game has largely been ignored for too long. In the past, girls got opportunities through state government tournaments, the Subroto Cup and Reliance Foundation but there was little in the way for adult women, other than a few events dotted around the state, such as in Tyrsad.

With the SSA holding a women’s league, this presents a real opportunity to expand football further, especially as East Khasi Hills has the largest population in Meghalaya and is also home to the biggest of the state’s clubs.

Although it is not a state league, by virtue of being held in East Khasi Hills, the winning club could qualify for the Indian Women’s League, subject to various conditions. The first and only Meghalaya club to play in the IWL was the erstwhile Royal Wahingdoh in 2016-17 (though only in the preliminary stage).

The winning team in the new SSA league will be awarded Rs 30,000, with the runners-up receiving Rs 18,000. Games will be of 60 minutes duration.

Only players who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 are allowed to take part.

The entry fee is Rs 1,000 per team, which should be paid before 5th March. Registration forms at Rs 50 per set (five sheets) will be available at the SSA office after the entry fee is paid.

Players can be registered at a cost of Rs 50 each. Each team can register not more than 25 players. Registration of players (to be submitted with a photocopy of their vaccination status) should be made on or before 16th March. Late registration will not be entertained. Failure to produce a copy of the players’ vaccination certificates will prevent registration of the respective players.

Only three team officials can be registered per team for the tournament.

Scrutiny of players will take place before the start of the tournament. The SSA reserves the right to disqualify any player whose documents are invalid and no appeal from the team will be entertained.

(TSR representative photo)

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