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'Who needs Messi when we have Passi'

India
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Wish I was older: Nathania John, 12, on U17 Women's World Cup

Nathania's dream is to play for the Barcelona women's team.
Nathania's dream is to play for the Barcelona women's team.

On Saturday morning when I was returning home from my football coaching, the Instagram account of 25-year-old professional woman footballer Brishti Bagchi, the first Indian woman to play in the American Women's Soccer League and someone who I follow, was to give me news that made me super excited. I read that India was going to host the U17 Women's World Cup in 2020 and I started jumping around in the car. My mother was driving up the hills, overtaking and all, and she asked me to keep still because...

What hosting the U-17 Women's World Cup could mean for India

India have been awarded the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, their second FIFA event inside three years after having hosted the 2017 variant of the same event in men's football.

While the dates and venues haven't been decided yet, with the former yet to be pencilled in within FIFA's own calendar of events, here's what India can learn from the 2017 event, and how best to apply those lessons in 2020.

In terms of organisation, there should be no issues

The 2017 World Cup proved that India can put...

Oinam Bembem Devi: It's a shame I am not young enough to play in the U17 World Cup

India's most-capped woman footballer Oinam Bembem Devi (6) wants everybody to get out of the mentality that girls can not play football.

Midfielder Oinam Bembem Devi is India's most-capped woman footballer (85 caps, 32 goals) who played between 1995 and 2016. She was the first AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year in 2001, and added a second such award in 2013. She retired from international football by leading India to the South Asian Games gold in Shillong in 2016. She also became the second Indian woman footballer to win the Arjuna Award in 2017. She was player-manager for Eastern Sporting Union, Manipur when they won the inaugural...

After Asian Cup exit, what next for India?

Stephen Constantine's men did it the hard way -- scripting an improbable second-half wipeout of Thailand in a 4-1 win, pushing hosts UAE to the edge but paying for their lack of finishing in a 2-0 defeat, and then reserved their worst for the last. The score might have read only 1-0 to Bahrain, but India were outplayed and outmaneuvered before finally being shown the way out.

What are some of the positives and negatives, and what lies in store for this team, now without Constantine, who stepped...

India pay heavy price for putting attacking instincts into deep freeze

In the biggest match of their lives in the biggest international event they have been a part of in over eight years, India put their attacking instincts into deep freeze, hunkered down in their own half and paid a brutal price. If ever Bahrain, requiring nothing less than a win to progress, needed a sign that the enormity of the occasion had got the better of their opponents, it came a moment close to halftime.

Captain Pronay Halder, who was having an inspired first half, released a pass from the...