Exclusive | Bhaichung Bhutia: "India more likely to play a women's world cup earlier than the men's one"

Bhaichung Bhutia shared his thoughts about the current situation of Women's football and the SAFF Championship final.

Abishek Goswami
New Update

There was an Executive Committee Meeting at Bengaluru today and after the meeting, India's former football player and a legend of the game, Bhaichung Bhutia gave an interview about what happened in the meeting, women's football, SAFF Championship Final, and many interesting topics. Bhaichung was also present in the meeting and he shared some important pieces of news with us.

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"It was a good meeting. A lot of things were discussed but a few things I also put forward was the increase in money for State Associations because States are the ones that produce football. I think they are giving 10 lakhs for administrative that those are 12 Lakhs for all companies, which is very, very less, though it's good that at least this body started giving at least something but 12 lakhs should do under 13, 15, and 17 juniors, junior women's Santosh trophy, travel, everything, kits are not enough. There are a few states which get support for state government like Odisha and maybe Bengal as well," he said on asking how was the meeting and what topics were covered.

"There are a lot of states, which don't get it. So I think 12 lakhs for the entire competition and travel and doing a tour is very less. They should have given much, much more because that's where the players are produced," he added.

"India more likely to play a women's world cup earlier than the men's one:" Bhaichung Bhutia

"The second thing was the women league, I think you know, the president said, We are going to pay equal salary to women, but just saying and not implementing is not right. The Women's League second season was really, really bad because the facilities were very poor," Bhaichung Bhutia expressed about the Women's League structure and facilities.

"We asked the Women Footballers Women League to have at least one league standard of traveling in hotel and flight fares and also increase the prize money for the women's league. Because you know, Women's football are ranked much more than higher than men's. And I feel India more likely to play a Women's World Cup before the men's one. And that is why when you're trying to promote women in prison, we pay equal salaries. But that's just on the media. It's not happening in reality and that's where I think also in terms of women. And I feel the committee can't take the final decision," he made himself pretty clear about what he thinks about the current situation of Women's football.

Bhaichung Bhutia slams the AIFF president with his statement:

"When they can't take a final decision, then you already have a lot of subcommittees from competitions, and technical things, then why do you said it? So I said If you want to make it and want to have it, then I think when the constitution has been formed in the new constitution. It has to be added there Otherwise, I don't see it. I don't see what is happening is a lot of people one or two guys are in 2-5-6 subcommittees and they are everywhere and some of them are not at all in, which is, I think, very, very unfortunate. You know, you can't have somebody whose friends and families are into all the subcommittees 4-4-5-5 and somebody is not even in," he concluded.

He also confirms that the technical committee was meeting about who will be the next Women's football team coach. So, it can be announced tomorrow by AIFF.

SAFF Championship 2023: thoughts on India's Road to the Final

We were given a list of the best players of the year. So unfortunately on that list, I was quite surprised that they have not included Sunil Chhetri. He had a very, very good season, but on the shortlist that we were given, his name was not there. So there were a few players we're going to declare it, but on the shortlist, he was not there," Bhaichung said on asking who is going to be the Footballer of the Year.

"I think they are having a great tournament. I think for me, I think Stimac is, you know, worked quite a lot over the years. He was a bit unlucky in the past, but over the years I think he's got the team right. You look at now, the undefeated run for a lot of matches. So I think, finally I think Stimac is getting the right combination, right, his way of playing it. Any coach takes time and I think it was a good decision for us as a federation to keep him because you need to give time," He shared his thoughts on India's recent performances and the final against Kuwait.

That's what I've been seeing all across and right now I think you're seeing results and I think it's hard work of all the players and the coaches and the coaching management, what they've been doing now and hopefully tomorrow final. I hope we get good results on the great team. We had a couple of good chances in the group-stage match against Kuwait. So if we can repeat that same performance, I think we should be the winner," he concluded.

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