Bembem Devi appeals parents to let their girls play
Indian women’s football legend Bembem Devi appeal to the Indian parents to support their children.
Bembem Devi on her life struggle
” When I was 9-10 years old, I used to play football with my school’s boys team but never had a proper introduction to the game. Then in 1991, there was a tournament in Manipur. The boys in our local club said, there’s a football tournament going on and I tagged along out of curiosity. It was there I got to know about women’s football. Once I saw that I was determined to take it up seriously. I joined the girl’s team and the same year itself, I got selected for the sub-junior state team. I wasn’t in the first team but I was eager and ready to learn in order to make it to the national team.”
” I was prepared to sacrifice for football. I had a target to play for 20 years or so. I played for 20 years and then decided to retire in 2015. But India was hosting the South Asian Games in 2016, so I decided to return to help out the country. I’m glad I got to play the beautiful game and represent the women’s team for 21 years. I set out to show women can do it and I’m glad I could.” Bembem Devi told the ISL media.
Bembem Devi on national team set-up
” While at the national setup, I used to know this girl. She was from Tamil Nadu, a really talented player, very good player. Her parents wanted to get her married and forced her to get married and she had to give up on her dreams.
” Nowadays, however, it has become a lot different and people have come to recognize that football can be a viable career option for girls. But I would still like to appeal to parents to let the girls be free to play and make the nation proud.”