Creating History, Tamil Nadu Girls Win National Football Championship

| February 15 , 2018 , 15:05 IST

It was a historic occasion for Tamil Nadu football on Wednesday as the women’s football team defeated Manipur and won their maiden senior national football title at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack after a long gap of 23 years.

Manipur bagged the second position.

Tamil Nadu defeated 18 times titles champion Manipur 2 goals to 1.

While the team is basking in glory, a little-known football club from Madurai is sharing the limelight. 10 players of the Tamil Nadu team are from Sethu FC.

They became the first TN club to participate in the Indian Women’s League last year.

Seeni Mohideen, financer of the team said, “The girls are all from poor families, many of them daughters of farmers. We send these girls to the Annamalai University in Chidambaram to study on a scholarship. They cannot afford to study otherwise.”

Tamil Nadu's striker K. Indumathi was named the best player of the tournament. She has represented India in the last South Asian Games in 2016. The 24-year-old Cuddalore girl scored 10 of Tamil Nadu’s 25 goals.

ALSO READ: Indian Super League Can Never Replace Traditional Football Tournaments: SAI

Indumathi said, “I was playing for Tamil Nadu for the first time. The average age of our team is 22. So, being an Indian player, I had more responsibility to guide the others. I am happy that they responded well. The credit for the 10 goals goes to my teammates for providing me with the passes."

Coach Murugavendan said that the girls have developed a fearless attitude due to their humble background. He said “Almost 90 percent of the girls come from below poverty line. They have nothing to lose and want to succeed at any cost. So that has made them fearless. So when they went up against teams like West Bengal and Manipur, they wanted to prove themselves. We trained hard and they never complained. That shows their character and how tough they are mentally."

Seeni Mohaideen also expressed the desire that she wants to get jobs for the footballers. She said, “A lot of women footballers leave after getting disoriented because of few job opportunities. So I want to submit a memorandum to the chief minister and the sports minister so that these girls get some jobs and continue to play. This success shouldn’t be a flash in the pan."