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Indian women love football, not cricket
Not only badminton and lawn tennis, Indian women are actively participating in other sports as well. According to Monika Staab, FIFA consultant for women's football, Indian women are keen to play football.

THOUGH WE don't have big names like Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Jwala Dutta and Anjum Chopra in football, but with persistent efforts of women like Monika Staab, we can hope that the country produces finest women football players too.

Staab, who has travelled to various parts of the country like Manipur, West Bengal and Orrisa, believes that girls in India love football. "It is a task, which has its barriers, of course. I think there are lots of women playing football,” Stabb told NNIS.

Various factors restrict women from taking up the sport, which demands more physical strength and stamina. But, in a cricket crazy country like India, girls pick a cricket bat before they even lay hands on a Barbie doll. Staab, on the other hand, believes that football is more fun for kids. "Football is more fun for girls, more touches on the ball, more fun running around. More girls want to play football rather than playing cricket, provided their parents let them play,” Stabb added.

But the reality is that parents in India would advise their children to choose a career in medicine or engineering rather than taking sports as profession. But Staab is in India to change the attitude and promote women's football. "We want to make an assessment - what we have and what we don't have, at the end we will make recommendation, of course. The game has to be played. The game is the best teacher – so need more competition and structure, so FIFA is here,” she said.

Compared to Indian men's football team, ranking of women's team looks much better with both placed at 169th and 52nd position on the FIFA rankings respectively. So, Indian fans can at least dream of seeing an Indian women's team in the world cup, if not the men's.

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