Oh hey, did you catch Japan’s win over Netherlands in the Football World Cup?

Before you scramble to think if it has indeed been four years since 2014, let me confirm that we are still in 2015.

Confused? Well, given the attention (or lack thereof) Women’s Football gets, it’s not surprising that the majority of people, even major football fans, are unaware that there’s knockout stages of a football World Cup going on in Canada right now- the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Today, when the most prevalent ‘F-word’ is probably Feminism and everything’s about equality between sexes, one of the (literal) fields where women substantially lag behind men is football. Mind you, they lag behind not in terms of skill or perseverance but rather in terms of opportunities available and media attention. Though the issues plaguing the game are vast and multi-layered, here are some of the major obstacles women footballers face while pursuing their passion for the beautiful game:

1. Wage Gap:

There is a considerable gap between the wages of men and women footballers. Did you know, for instance, that the five consecutive times winner of the FIFA Women’s player of the year, the Brazilian striker Marta only gets paid (3000 GBP) a fraction of what a good EPL player gets (135,000 GBP)? Let’s not even make comparisons with the four-times Ballon D’Or winner Leo Messi.

The England women’s team recently complained to the FA for their low salaries during the previous world cup- they were apparently paid just 40 GBP per day. This leaves them in a lurch and they often have to juggle other jobs with playing football. Many female footballers also give up on the sport due to financial instability. It’s a shame, considering that many women’s national teams are doing much better than their male counterparts.

2. Lack of Media Attention:

The very fact that practically no one even knows that Women’s Football World Cup is a thing happening right now is proof enough of the fact that no one wants to care about it. Before you go and take a ‘But this is India and no one cares about football, period’ stand, let me present you with some startling facts from countries where football is the major sport.

Georgiana Turner, a sports journalist, found out that there are only 303 articles about women’s football in The Guardian’s archive running back till 1998. In a vivid contrast, Alex Ferguson has about 184 all to himself. The most watched women’s sports event ever had viewership of less than a million people during the 1999 Women’s World Cup, while the men’s games clock in millions of viewers year after year.

In fact, most female players agree on the fact that it’s not the wage gap that worries them more; it’s the lack of fans coming to watch the games and how less their matches are aired on television. It’s their belief that if media supports women’s football more, it will translate into better wages, better sponsors and more appreciation for their game.

3. Sexism:

When EA Sports released FIFA 16 with the new feature of women’s teams, the flood of disgusting sexist comments that flooded the social media were sickening. This and the kind of sexist comments and behaviour that female football professionals- players, referees, other staff- have to go through everyday should probably make everyone claiming Feminism to be a passé issue sit back and rethink their stance.

A recent survey conducted by ‘Women in Football’ revealed that an astonishing 28 per cent of respondents have witnessed female employees being treated unfairly. More worryingly, more than 50 per cent of people surveyed believed their looks to be of greater importance than their ability to do their jobs.

Ever wondered why there aren’t many female football referees? Because they’re greeted to lewd comments by spectators and players alike. There was an entire time a few years ago when Chelsea’s first-team doctor, Eva Carneiro, grabbed attention all over the world through comments on her looks and scepticism on her skills. It’s problematic on so many levels that what she gets to hear isn’t “She must be damn good at her job to be here despite all the obstacles” but rather “Hey, show us your vagina”, thus hyper-sexualising the presence of women in a game that already shuns them.

It’s not just professionals either. Try being a female football fan and you can experience most of it on a first-hand basis. As someone who has been an ardent football fan since 2008 and has been involved with all things football on the social media, I can attest to the fact that female football fans are never taken very seriously in discussions and are assumed to be in it either for the attractive players (which, very honestly, is so untrue because A) we only get to see indistinguishable specks of the so-called attractive players while watching a match which kinda defeats the purpose and B) get over yourself, not a lot of them are as aesthetically pleasing as you’d believe) or for the sake of attention from fellow male fans (which is laughable because no one would be stupid enough to invest time, efforts and emotions in a game for the sake of a person especially if the only reason they give them the time of day is because they like football). It’s after having answered questions about the offside rule and formations that I could argue a stance on discussion boards and be taken seriously, something that disturbs me to no end.

It’s not just women. Football has deep-rooted issues with almost all minority communities. Issues of homophobia, sexism and racism mar the world’s most popular sport. On the occasion of 2015 Women’s World Cup, let’s strive to make football a welcome place for women!


Featured Image: Indian women’s football team, zeenews.india.com



Seldom do we see initiatives arising at college level that promise to leave a benchmark in their respective field. One such initiative, taken up by the students of North Campus certainly promises to leave an impact and bring a change in the game of football as it is currently practiced at the university level. NCFL, acronym for North Campus Football League, is that dream tournament being planned by a bunch of young talented football players and is scheduled to launch next year in January. The preparations though have already begun. The layout of the whole tournament seems promising enough to ensure an unprecedented sports league, something which the university has never seen.

The tournament will see 7 football teams of different north campus colleges. The franchisee for the teams will be auctioned for a 5 year term, preferably to the alumni of these colleges and the entire event will be webcasted live. The matches have been scheduled at the iconic Delhi University stadium which is also situated in North Campus.

The tournament assures to alleviate budding talent in the game of football not only in the colleges of North Campus but from other university colleges as well since the franchisees will be able to take in players from other colleges of DU. So the tournament will be limited in its reach at the team participation level but not when it will come to the participation of players, something which will ensure the rise of latent talent in football players from different colleges. That being said, the professional players will be allowed to participate up to a certain limit.

Promising in its nature, the initiative is still going through the early stage of clearances and is getting a satisfying response from authorities both at college and university level. Once having all the clearances, the event will be slated to finally transpire into a reality and embark on a journey to revolutionise the game of football at the university level in India.

Image Credits- ncfl.in

Brij Pahwa
[email protected]

After long hours on the pitch of training and hard work, the Delhi University team managed to etch their names in history this year. With a string of great performances they managed to achieve something that has constantly evaded Delhi University in the past. The 3rd place finish in the All India Inter-University Championships held in Kerala is something that both the players and the coaches will remember for years to come. The team lost in the semi finals to Mahatma Gandhi University. Calicut University went on to win the competition. Apoorv Kakkar, a player on the team, said that “Next year we will aim to do even better in all competitions.” Before this extraordinary feat at the All India competition, the team kept the DU flag on top with a third place finish in the North Zone competition held in Patiala. Shashank Mamgain was adjudged best striker of the tournament. The fact that it was a young squad only added to the glory and pride. When we asked the players about the experience, they told us that it was a great opportunity and the exposure really benefited them. In terms of support from the University, the response was not as enthusiastic as there were problems in terms of daily allowance and financial assistance that players had to face. The selection process for the University team was one that the players thought was fair and one that ensured that the best players got selected.  All in all it was a year to remember for the team and the players are looking forward to bettering their performance in the years to come.

The Delhi University Inter College Football Tournament, hosted at the Delhi Police Polo Ground and SRCC Football field between 20th Feb – 5th March, culminated in fine fashion for Motilal Nehru College (MLNC) Evening as an impressive 2-1 victory over runners-up Zakir Hussain College (ZHC) saw the defending champs retain their top spot in Delhi University. The most anticipated football tournament amongst DU’s footballing circles, the prestigious event this year included a total of 44 teams from all around Delhi University.

The match between the two finalists, started on a bright note as both teams approached the game with an attacking mind-set. MLNC’s (E) offensive build-ups and high pressing game soon gave them a deserved lead early on in the 8th Minute by a Sumit Rawat strike. However, the boys from Zakir Hussain responded well as they were also constantly putting Motilal’s defence under considerable pressure. Much to ZHC‘s dismay though, an 18th Minute equaliser by Nitesh Sharma was cancelled out by another goal from MLNC’s side, this time coming from the feet of Abhay Rana. An enthusiastic start to the finals, by the half hour mark,the match seemed to be very much in the balance.


By the beginning of the second half, the frantic burst of the game had seemed to consciously be slowed down, as both defences looked vulnerable to say the least. While possession seemed to be almost equal in both halves, MLNC in general seemed to be more controlled and organised in their play. A lot of this though, is credited to their manager, Mr. Sanjay Anand, whose constant shouting and yelling from the side-lines made sure players retained their positions and stuck to their formation. The energy again seemed to rise towards the last 10 minutes or so, as Zakir Hussain pressed harder for the ball and were involved in several gruesome challenges. A goal looked almost certain from ZHC after a 90th minute red card to MLNC player, Arvind, which reduced the defending champs to 10 men. Time, however, was not on Zakir Hussain College’s side as they lost the match 2-1.

This was also followed by another match. The two losing semi-finalists, Ram Lal Anand College and SRCC squared off in order to determine the third position. SRCC won the match by a comfortably cushioned victory.

Describing his feelings on successfully replicating their team success, Abhishek Rawat, Captain of Motilal Nehru College (E) said “I feel extremely overjoyed and proud at this point. We dedicate this win to all our supporters and the coach. Next year hopefully, we’ll make it three in a row.”

A 5-a-side open soccer tournament was recently organised by the Statistics department of Kirori Mal College (KMC), held between the 24th-25th of February at the college Football grounds. The event was sponsored by the Indian Football Foundation, a charity organisation founded and run by veteran footballer, Baichung Bhutia.

Having registered a total of 39 teams in it’s last edition, the event was only able to play host to 17 teams this year around. This particularly relates to the event’s inter-lapping with the Inter-College football tournament at SRCC, causing several teams to back out at the last minute. This temporary setback was not of much relevance though, as it gave many pass-out students a chance to participate in the event. Not only did these senior groups of students raise the bar for the tournament, but they also introduced a more mature and tactical approach to the game.

Quick, fast paced, and based on counter attacking football, the initial stages of the tournament witnessed a burst of goals from all of the teams managing to qualify. By the time of the semi-finals however, this initial thrust of goals had slowed down, as the two finalists, Bhushan FC and Ravens FC only managed a 1-0 and 2-1 win against their respective opponents. The finals of the tournament was also another low scoring affair, with both sides focusing more on not conceding goals. Despite a solid defensive display by Ravens FC, Bhushan FC managed to score twice as they went on to win the match by 2 goals to 1. They took home a cash prize of Rs 12000 along with a customized Barcelona Nike ball, while the runners up received a cash reward of Rs 5000.

While the fourth edition of the Joga Bonito may not have been able to replicate the magnitude and grandeur of the previous three tournaments, a case can certainly be made on the event managing to hold on to its very essence and spirit. Prabhat, one of the organisers of the event, calls the event a ‘goodwill building exercise’, as this experience of coordinating the event will only help them organise the future tournaments with much more understanding and confidence. Building on this, he believes this practical knowledge of hosting Joga Bonito will most certainly play a key role in next year’s tournament edition.

The 30th of January marked a special day for SRCC’s football team, as the boys in red proved to be just too good for Sri Venkateswara College, recording a comfortable win of 3-1 in the finals of the 7th Akshay Chhibber Memorial Soccer Tournament. The venue, St. Stephen’s football ground saw a largely SRCC dominated crowd, with a considerable number of people showing up for the clash between the two sides.

The match, while being heavily cheered on by enthusiastic supporters off the field, did not seem to correspond on the field, as the game in the opening stages turned out to be rather dull and uninspiring. However, SRCC soon found their feet as displays of some promising link-up play, intricate one-two-one passing, and several decent attempts on goal saw them take a deserved lead from a corner as the game approached the half-hour mark. The goal came from SRCC’s centre-back Deepak, who took advantage of a misguided clearance by a late-reacting Venky defence, scoring from within 6 yards of goal. That goal saw a marked increase in the tempo of the game, with a positive response from Sri Venkateswara College as they made a more attack-minded approach to the game. Despite some solid defending by the north campus college, an alleged push on a Venkateswara striker saw the team concede from a penalty spot in the few remaining minutes of first half.


The second half witnessed another bright start for the boys from SRCC. They managed to score again, this time through their skipper, Digvijay Bahadur Singh, who scored a goal from a corner kick, with the ball dipping and curving directly in the back of the net. Arguably, the most crucial point in the game came when Deepak from Sri Venkateswara College scuffed a shot wide from a distance of 12-some-yards. It was this relatively more clinical and lethal SRCC side which finally managed to seal the game with another goal from a cross, effortlessly met by Tsheygal on the receiver’s end. The game took a more rash and abrasive turn just in the dying minutes, as a fight erupted between the two set of players leading to two red cards being shown-one from each team. A match with its share of goals as well as drama, it proved to be an entertaining watch for the supporters as well as the neutrals.

The Chief Guest for the final match, Dr. Ajay Chhibber congratulated the winning team and presented them with the winning trophy along with a cash reward of Rs. 28,000. Talking about increasing the magnitude of this tournament, he revealed plans of integrating a total of 16 teams in the tournament in the years to follow. The captain of the winning team, Digvijay Singh, while talking about his team’s performance, applauded his side’s ‘Never-Say-Die’ attitude and also reflected on their team’s ‘winning mentality’ as being vital to their team success.

The first major DU football tournament of 2014 started on 23rd January, the inaugural day of the 7th Akshay Chhibber Memorial Soccer Tournament. St. Stephen’s witnessed a thrilling start to the competition as the hosts defeated their long term rivals Hindu by 1-0. The second match of the day also encountered another similar 1-0 defeat with Sri Venkateswara College managing to scrape a win against the boys from Zakir Hussain.

Preceding kick-off, the chief guest for the event, Revd. Dr. Valson Thampu (Principal, St. Stephen’s College), spoke a few words on upholding the spirit of the game and gave his best wishes to the teams participating.


The inaugural match, St. Stephen’s v/s Hindu has always traditionally been a match of some importance. Supporters from both colleges seemed to be present in plenty, with the energy and the passionate chanting of the fans adding an extra flavour to the game. The only goal of the match, a stunning half-volley from about 25 yards out was scored within the first ten minutes of play by Piyush Khattar. The match also saw a Stephen’s goal disallowed as the assistant referee raised the flag for a foul on the Hindu goalkeeper. Apart from this, another controversial point in the match was a penalty appeal from the Hindu players which was also not given. However, despite what the score line may suggest, Stephen’s were clearly dominant, keeping possession for long spells with a natural rhythmic fluency in their style of passing. The Hindu team, despite having a sturdy defence overall, did not seem to be comfortable with the ball in the opposition half, giving away the ball rather cheaply at times.

This match was followed by another intense battle, with the clear favourites of the tournament, Sri Venkateswara College taking on Zakir Hussain. A fine display of attack and counter attack, Sri Venkateswara finally managed to scrape out a 1-0 victory after a fiercely competitive performance put in from both the sides. The goal finally came from a penalty in the second half with Sachin Kohli calmly converting from the spot to give his team a lead. Despite all the chances created by both sides, the football in the attacking-third of the park was not as impressive as the play in midfield and defence, with both attackers missing clear cut goal-scoring chances. On the whole, an entertaining for the neutrals.

With recognizable football teams such as SRCC, Kirori Mal, Ramjas and Hansraj still raring to go, this tournament only promises to get more competitive and exciting as eliminations start to kick in. A prelude to the Inter-College tournament, the Akshay Chhibber Memorial Soccer Tournament gives us a glimpse of what Delhi University football teams have to offer. Whether it is seen as a wakeup call by some teams, or an opportunity to make a statement by others, what is clear is the fact that the battle for DU footballing hegemony seems to be already up and running!

Sir Alex has finally retired, with his hand-picked successor clearly struggling to win not just matches, but also the backing of the supporters. Yes, a crisis has struck the red part of Manchester, one which seems to have shook glory hunters all over the world. We all knew it was going to be tough replacing Sir Alex, but no one could have anticipated such a dramatic fall for our defending champs. Having recorded their worst ever league start since the inception of the BPL, David Moyes seems to be clearly struggling to muster any kind of momentum in his team. So, what exactly seems to be the problem? Well, here are some factors on what seems to be missing and what’s clearly not clicking!

Struggling with Stability

The transition to any new manager, to new tactics and diverse styles of play is bound to bring about a certain period of instability, and the introduction of David Moyes was no different. Bringing his own backroom staff along with him, he let go of the successful combination of Rene Meulensteen, Mike Phelan and Eric Steele who knew the Red devil’s squad inside out. This in particular might not have been the smartest of moves as United are still struggling to find any kind of rhythm and flow in their approach to the game.

Under-performing players

It is fascinating how a squad so DEADLY last year can be just so plain DEAD this year! Lacking creativity and aspiration, Manchester United in general have not played with the same vigour and intensity as they had played during the Fergie-era. Trying several combinations and arrangements, Moyes is still yet to find the perfect balance which plays football to United’s strengths. Fergie’s brilliance in tactics which brought out the best in players like Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Luis Nani, Patrice Evra, Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa etc. among many others has not yet been replicated by his successor. An unstable defence, a dull midfield and a lacklustre attack has far from impressed the fans with some serious questions regarding their future credibility.

Transfer-less window

Failed efforts to sign Fabregas, Herrera or Alacantara ensured a gaping hole in midfield left by the retirement of veteran midfielder Paul Scholes. The one main signing made by Moyes, that of Maroune Fellaini has also has not yet proved his worth to his new club. While it is undeniable that Man Utd requires some new faces to instil confidence and freshness in the team, heavy dependence on Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj to provide for the attacking threat is also not a viable option for the long term.

Well, is this the end of the United-era or is this the beginning of a new phase of dominance? One thing that’s for sure is that this is definitely going to be the toughest test for Manchester United. I guess we’ll just have to wait for a few seasons to find out what United are really made out of!

 Akhil Goswami

Recognise her? She’s the assistant referee, Sian Massey running along the sidelines of your favourite football club’s match on weekends.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Molineux
Sian Massey


Just like her, Indian women referees are also breaking through the ice in the national football circuit. Recently, Chennai girls Ruba Devi & Basanti and Bengal’s Kanika Burman & Monica Jana qualified for Class II national refereeing. These four girls aim to follow the much celebrated Goan girls Maria Robello, 42, and Uvena Fernandes, 32, who have the honour of being included in the FIFA’s list of women referees.

Rebello, who was also a former Indian team captain, now referees for the Goan pro-league. For a woman referee, the biggest challenge is to control the male players and keep the tempers from soaring too high. In an interview to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), she said, “Things can get a bit nasty in Goa where football is a way of life. But I feel women have the ability to keep things under control. I have been verbally abused by the players & fans and I also give it back to them. “(Talk about a real life in-your-face Kate Beckett, eh?)

Maria Rebello, officiating a match

Like Rebello, fellow Goan, Uvena Fernandes, who is an officer with the Indian Air Force (IAF), also represented India before she started refereeing in 2003.

The newly qualified Burman’s moment of test came when she refereed a highly controversial match between East Bengal and Railway FC which saw her being verbally attacked by one of the players. However, she handled it well with her no-nonsense style and came through with flying colours. But success for Burman comes with a cost. In 2013, she lost a month’s salary when she took leave from her other job to referee for the U-19 Women’s nationals. The underpaying nature of the job of a referee in India also does not help her case.

However, for AIFF (All India Football Federation) priority remains to promote women’s refereeing. The man behind the rise of women referees is Col (Retd.) Goutam Kar, the head of the refereeing department.

“We realized that one girl means one family. And since we don’t have organized women football, we encouraged them to take up refereeing so that they have a good future. First we started scouting and then in 2012 we got a good response in the women’s only refereeing course that was attended by 30-40 girls”, Kar said to IANS.

Kar believes that if these four girls (who have just qualified) make it big, then it can surely inspire the next generation of women referees.

 imagecourtesy: caughtoffside.com, epaper.timesofindia.com

Tushar Diwan

[email protected]                                                                                           


Hindu vs Stephens: Stephens won by a solitary goal.
SRCC vs Hans Raj: Hans Raj won by 2 goals to nil.
Stephens vs Alumni: Alumni won by 2 goals to nil.
Hans Raj vs KMC: 0-0 draw.
Ramjas vs Hindu: 1-1 draw.
Zakir Hussain vs SRCC: goalless draw.
Stephens vs Ramjas: Stephens won 3-0.
Hindu vs Alumni: Alumni won by 2 goals to 1.
Hans Raj vs Zakir Hussain: goalless draw.
KMC vs SRCC: goalless draw.
Alumni vs Ramjas: Alumni won by a solitary goal.
KMC vs Zakir Hussain: one goal apiece.

Semi-finals (2nd feb)

Stephens vs Hans Raj: 1-1 (FT) Stephens won on penalties

KMC vs Alumni: 0-0 (FT) Alumni won penalties


Alumni vs Stephens

Watch this space for the results of the finals