India sets minimum wage structure for top tier women’s league

April 17 – The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is to set a minimum wage for players in the country’s women’s top flight, the Indian Women’s League (IWL).

The top eight participating teams in the IWL will be required to have a minimum of 10 Indian players on an annual contract worth a minimum of ₹3.2 lakhs ($3,908), said AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey following an AIFF executive committee meeting.

“We believe these decisions will attract more girls to play football and will help the growth of the women,” said Chaubey.

“This was a landmark executive committee meeting, where crucial decisions were taken that would directly impact the future of football in India and take it in a direction that was elaborated by the Strategic Roadmap, Vision 2047. We have, collectively, as a team, deliberated on various challenges, and gaps and have come up with projects and initiatives that will impact the future of women’s football, in a way that has not happened in India in the past.”

The plans are part of a larger revamp of the women’s game. The IWL was founded in 2016 and will feature 10 teams in the 2024-25 season. In the 2025-26 season, the women’s game will be restructured across four leagues with the last tier being the state leagues across the country. The AIFF also wants to set up a university league.

“We want to start with 8-16 teams,” explained AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran.

“We are in touch with a host of private universities to be a part of this league and we are confident to start it this season. It will be an opportunity for our women footballers to be associated with a university and maybe enhance their education.”

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