Jeje Lalpekhlua says Under-17 World Cup will raise women's football standards in Indiatext_fields
New Delhi: Jeje Lalpekhlua, one of India's most successful forwards, thinks that the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in India will be the ideal venue for the younger generation of female football players to demonstrate their talent and potential.
Jeje invited all Indian football supporters to cheer on the U-17 women's team competing in the World Cup.
The forthcoming competition, which will start on October 11, will be the second FIFA youth event to take place in India following the FIFA U-17 World Cup that was held in 2017.
"I think this event is very important for the young kids that want to play football in this country. I hope this event will encourage especially young girls from our country to pick up football," Jeje said.
"In the last two years, women's football has been coming up in India in a good way. Now we are hosting such a mega event in our country and it will prove to be very important for India. I hope after this event, in the future, parents will encourage their daughters to take up all sports, not just football," he said.
"This will encourage young girls across the nation and in turn help us improve the standard of women's sports in India and will subsequently change the perception of women's sports in our country," he added.
The 31-year-old striker from Mizoram concluded by urging fans to support the young girls in any way they can, ahead of the tournament, by saying, "I think as a sportsperson, I realise that without fans we are nothing, we will not be the superstars we are today, so I think their support is essential.
"I have been playing professionally for about 10 years and fans are very important for all athletes. So, I hope everyone shows their support for these young girls, who aspire to play at the highest level not just from the stadiums but from their own homes also because the love and encouragement of the fans will surely push them to give their best on the field."
"I think the future is really bright for football in India and the U-17 Indian women's squad will surely make us proud," Jeje concluded.
With inputs from IANS