FIFA U-17 women’s World Cup
- Oinam Bembem Devi is a pioneering figure in the Indian women’s football
- The former national captain, nicknamed after one of the beloved Hindu goddess
- She said:”the sky’s the limit”after the country hosts the U-17 women’s World Cup
The most prominent figures in Indian football having described her as”a living legend”and”flagman”on the women’s game.
But there is a nickname, to stick more closely to Oinam Bembem Devi:’Durga Indian football’. As Bembem Devi own interpretation, there can be no higher praise. “Durga is a(Hindu)goddess a celebration of all of India Happy victory Good Evil,”she said with a smile,”so I don’t know how to respond to given this name. Someone may be referred to as’Durga’to play football is a huge inspiration, and an honor.”
Expanding the title to reflect a respect for Bembem Devi was held, and the influence she carries. A beloved former Indian captain, she began her international career at the tender age of only 15 is still an excellent until she retired in 2016, motivate the team to new heights.
Her service was recognized by the national government with the Arjuna Award for outstanding achievements in sports, as well as more recent times, she became the first woman football player to be appointed as the Padma Shri–India’s fourth highest civilian honor. However, like many other entrepreneurial female figures, and her early steps in the beautiful game are fraught with difficulties.
Although attracted to football, and by”simple motion, and the joy in kicking a ball”, she found herself forced to change her name–’Bobo”and”beauty’is a favorite Kana–to play the local boys. “I tell them my name is Bembem they will understand I am a girl and not take my own team,”she explained.
Her parents ‘ attitude represents an equally significant obstacle. “One needs to understand the socio-cultural background, understand their way of thinking,”she said. “They want me to focus on my studies. At that time, I do not agree with them. But now when I look back, try and see things from their point of view, I understand.
“This means extra work for me because I had to make up for lost time learning, because there is no way I would give up football. I have to balance both. It is tough. But eventually the ice melted a little, when I first to the Indian national team. There is a smile, and once I got used to India, there is no back.
“I think I have been able to show the girls that they should follow their dreams. But at the same time, they should not be the rebels and against the wishes of their parents–you need to find this balance. However, if I can inspire even 11 girls to play sports, I feel like I have to play my part.”
There will certainly be no pride Time 11 Indian girl the world stage for the first time. This is when the country will host the FIFA U-17 women’s World Cup, and Bembem Devi’s only regret is that she isn’t young enough to take the field himself.
“When I was a player,I don’t even dare to dream that my country will host the World Cup like this,”she said. “The girls are so lucky-sometimes I feel a little jealous(laugh)! Confidence, Interest Development, and inspiration all come from this tournament. Then all restrictions.
“I cannot Express in words how happy I was when I heard we would be hosting this game, I would like to commend S}to bring it to India. It shows how serious they are about developing women’s football.”
Bembem Devi also has first-hand knowledge of the team will be responsible for the maintenance of India’s honour in the U-17 finals, having held the position of assistant coach in recent years.
“They are an ambitious group of girls who are willing to work the same thing,”she said. “Commitment-wise, they are ready to make progress. They also trained under Thomas Dennerby, I’m sure everyone in the game understands that Mr. Dennerby knows a thing or two about women’s football.”
When it comes to experts, it takes one to know one. If India’s experienced Swedish coach has any questions about women’s soccer in his country, he knows there is Durga is ready and willing to lend a helping hand.