The All India Football Federation (AIFF) have announced that the Indian Women’s League 2021 is postponed. The IWL is on hold indefinitely due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Odisha would have been hosting the tournament, later this month. But, the Indian Women’s League 2021 is postponed, which is unsurprising because AIFF also postponed the play-offs. The IWL play-offs would have been played in New Delhi from April 7th to April 14th, but AIFF postponed them on Sunday.
“The Hero Indian Women’s League scheduled to be held in Odisha later this month has been postponed until further notice,” the AIFF said in a release.
Is it Indian Women’s League that is postponed?
The reason cited by AIFF behind postponing the competition is simple – COVID-19. The second wave of coronavirus cases hitting India has meant that Odisha is too seeing a daily rise in cases. The state reported 588 new cases on Tuesday, after Monday’s 573 positive cases.
So, AIFF, in congress with Odisha Sport, decided to postpone the women’s league.
Still, there is especial (read: gendered) irony in this decision. After all, AIFF, by now, are an institution well-attuned to conducting sporting events amidst COVID protocol.
Indeed, AIFF successfully conducted two three-month long men’s leagues amidst the coronavirus pandemic. How, you may ask? Bio-secure bubbles.
The Indian Super League and the I-League kicked off with utmost security against COVID-19. All the relevant people lived in a bubble, a technique that has become custom in the post-pandemic world of sports.
Maintaining a bio-secure bubbles for a women’s league would have been easier logistically, than ISL or I-League. So, the question arises- did AIFF take this decision simply due to lack of resolve?
“The AIFF along with Odisha Sports and the participating teams will be taking a stock of the situation once the health parameters improve,” the AIFF statement further read.