New Delhi: The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ is on the horizon and will serve as the perfect stage for the newer generation of women footballers to showcase their talent and potential, according to Jeje Lalpekhlua, one of the most prolific forwards of the Indian Men’s Football national team.
Jeje urged all football fans across the nation to get behind the U-17 women's squad set to participate in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™. The upcoming tournament, set to begin on October 11 2022, is going to be the second FIFA youth event being held in India after the FIFA U-17 World Cup which was held back in 2017.
“I think this event is very important for the young kids that want to play football in this country. I hope this event will encourage especially young girls from our country to pick up football,” he said.
Jeje went on to talk about the recent growth and overall potential of women’s football in India as he said, “In the last two years women’s football has been coming up in India in a good way. Now we are hosting such a mega event in our country and it will prove to be very important for India. I hope after this event, in the future, parents will encourage their daughters to take up all sports, not just football.
“This will encourage young girls across the nation and in turn help us improve the standard of women's sports in India and will subsequently change the perception of women's sports in our country," Jeje added.
The 31-year-old striker from Mizoram concluded by urging fans to support the young girls in any way they can ahead of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ by saying, “I think as a sportsperson, I realise that without fans we are nothing, we will not be the superstars we are today, so I think their support is essential.
"I have been playing professionally for about 10 years and fans are very important for all athletes. So, I hope everyone shows their support for these young girls, who aspire to play at the highest level not just from the stadiums but from their own homes also, because the love and encouragement of the fans will surely push them to give their best on the field.”
“I think the future is really bright for football in India and the U-17 Indian women’s squad will surely make us proud,” Jeje concluded.
The U-17 Indian women’s team has been drawn in Group A alongside the likes of Morocco, Brazil, and the United States of America (USA). India will play all their games at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai are the remaining venues that will host the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™.