With the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in India on the horizon, the final round of the premier women's football league of the country -- Indian Women's League (IWL) 2019-20 -- will kick-off at the Bangalore Football Stadium in Bengaluru on January 24.
The fourth edition of the tournament will see 12 teams from across the country fight it out for top honours in the Indian women's club football.
The teams that are set to participate in the Final Round made it to Bengaluru after a rigorous set of zonal qualifiers which were held on a pan India basis.
Teams from Manipur, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka, and the Rest of India zones have earned a ticket to the final round.
The 12 teams have been divided into 2 groups of 6 teams with each team playing the other once in the group. The top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-final.
The tournament will start with Kryphsa FC of Manipur taking on Kickstart FC of Karnataka on January 24.
The final of the tournament is slated to be held on February 13.
All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das highlighted the AIFF's commitment to the development of women's football in India.
"We are delighted to announce the kick-off of the 4th edition of the Hero Indian Women's League from January 23. The Hero IWL is the perfect platform for all players to make an impact and earn themselves a berth in the Senior National Team," he stated.
"The Hero IWL has a pan Indian presence and will also encourage budding footballers to pursue the sport in their respective regions. I wish luck to all the participating teams," Das added.
India's senior national team head coach Maymol Rocky commented upon the development saying: "The Hero IWL has grown in stature over the years. We saw quality football being played last season. I'm sure the upcoming campaign will also have a lot of surprises in store for us."
"We spotted a lot of talented young players in the league last season, some of whom went on to make it to the National Team. It is always encouraging when domestic leagues act as a launchpad for players to get to International football," Maymol said.