Women’s Football Deserves Better
By Mustaq Sydeen
Women’s football might need a generation to get back recent gains if it is left ‘by the wayside’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) is focusing more on getting the men’s competitions back on track.
The women’s team have already been overshadowing the men in numerous ways for a while, but they have not been given due credit for what they have achieved so far.
The sad reality is that women’s football has been sliding downhill for a decade, and since December 2019 the National team has been disbanded. They are also without a coach, which has left the players in a dilemma.
After a dismal performance at the South Asian Games 2019 the women’s squad was disbanded, and then coach Thilak Alponsu’s contract was not extended. Until now the footballers haven’t stepped onto a football ground, which is surprising, and no steps have been taken by the relevant authorities to rectify the situation.
FFSL should take serious note of the prevailing sorry situation which has befallen the women. At one time the game was thriving, but it has now sunk to a very low standard. Almost a year has passed with no news of when the Women’s football calendar will resume; meaning National players still have to keep themselves fit and entertained from home.
The young Sri Lankan talents are undoubtedly eager to don their gear and enter the smooth and lush green football grounds, which they are missing at present. With no women’s football league in Sri Lanka for the last 6-8 years, the lasses were starving for a league, which finally fell into the relevant authority’s deaf ears, and they were in talks to organise a domestic league in November which was pushed back indefinitely due to the threat of a second COVID-19 wave.
With numerous slow and fast changes happening in Sri Lankan women’s football, it is about time FFSL did more to take women’s football to the next level. With the right moves, there is little doubt the incredible talent that Sri Lanka’s women footballers possess will shine through on the international stage, sooner rather than later.