After the success of I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL), comes the much-awaited Indian women's football league. The tournament, referred to as the Indian Women's League (IWL), had a grand launch in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The competition for promising women's footballers from the country was a long time coming and it has been greeted with plenty of cheers from the Indian football fans.
"Our [India] women's team is ranked 54 in the world which is higher than the men's ranking of 129," All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel said. "For the upcoming FIFA women's World Cup in 2019, if we put in the right effort, our women's team will have an outside chance of qualifying for the world cup before the men. This in itself is a huge achievement," he added.
Two teams from the North-East of India -- the current hotbed of Indian football -- are participating in the competition, while there is no representation from Kolkata, Goa or Bengaluru.
The event was also graced by Sakshi Malik, the bronze medal winner in women's wrestling at the Rio Olympics 2016, as well as Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel.
Haryana: FC Alakhpura
Puducherry: Jeppiaar Institute of Technology FC
Mizoram: Aizawl FC
Pune: FC Pune City
Odisha: Rising Student Club
Manipur: Eastern Sporting Union
Format of tournament
League phase and knockout.
Start date: January 28.
DOWNLOAD: Indian Women's League 2017 fixtures