No reason why can’t East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have women’s derby: Bala Devi

Bala Devi returns to action for Rangers Women in Scotland
By: PTI |

November 25, 2020 6:08:28 pm





Bala Devi (Source: File)

India captain N Bala Devi says there isn’t a reason why soccer giants SC East Bengal and ATK Mohun Bagan can’t create their respective women’s group and develop a high-stake women’s Kolkata derby.

Traditional rivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will conflict within the Indian Super League for the primary time on Friday since their mergers with ATK and Shree Cement respectively and Bala Devi hopes to see an identical derby quickly for the women’s recreation.

“The big two Kolkata clubs can easily create women’s teams the players there are blessed with natural talent,” mentioned the pathbreaking footballer, who lately featured within the ‘Old Firm Derby’ — one of many oldest soccer rivalries on the planet between Rangers FC and Celtic FC in Scottish women’s league.

“Rangers and Celtic did this in just less than a year to build their women’s teams. Our two Kolkata clubs can do the same in the same time frame from today.”

The 30-year-old trailblazer mentioned if East Bengal and Mohun Bagan can type their women’s group it would immensely assist women’s soccer within the nation.

“When I started playing junior football in 2002, we used to keep playing finals against the Bengal team. The girls from Bengal were really skillful and back in those days. There were many players from the state in the national team,” she mentioned.

“But now, there’s just the one or two players. I think if Mohun Bagan and East Bengal do what Celtic and Rangers are doing and form women’s teams, then it will be really beneficial not just for Bengal, but for India as well.”

Bala Devi’s entry into Scottish soccer comes at a time when the women’s league in Scotland has been present process a drastic overhaul.

In 2018, all of the stakeholders of the women’s recreation in Scotland agreed that they wanted to take a step ahead and in a short interval. The Scottish Women’s Premier League has developed quickly that BBC Scotland began broadcasting choose matches from this 12 months.

Bala Devi believes there isn’t a reason why the identical can’t be finished in India.

“Manipur produces a lot of players because there are a lot of matches there, across all age groups,” she mentioned.

“But in other states, such matches don’t happen. So, if we had a system where girls can get matches throughout the year, then more and more players will come up. For this, all the clubs should maintain women’s teams. Players can’t train by themselves, they need the necessary infrastructure to do so.”

The first Indian lady to signal an expert soccer contract abroad with Rangers FC, Bala Devi has been slowly making headway into the aggressive world of women’s soccer.

“People now recognise me in the supermarkets when I go out,” she says. “They’re always wishing me good luck for my next match. There’s even a picture of me at the Ibrox Stadium,” she mentioned.

“People have immense respect for football here, I see them standing for 45 minutes straight during each half. That shows you how much they love the teams and motivate the players.”

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