Wed, 07 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], March 31 (ANI): The groupings for the upcoming Indian Women's League (IWL) were announced on Thursday after the draw was held at the Football House in New Delhi.

Among those present in the draw was the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Secretary General, Dr Shaji Prabhakaran. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Prabhakaran said as quoted by a press release from the federation: "This season of the IWL is like a qualification competition of a more competitive league that will come into effect in the next campaign.""My best wishes to all the 16 teams, who will be part of the IWL. We had a meeting with several clubs and all efforts have been made to create a holistic situation for the development and rapid growth of Indian women's football," he said.

The IWL will start on April 25, 2023. The 2022-23 season of the top women's meet will see a format having 16 teams split into two groups. The top four teams from each group will qualify for the knockout stage, consisting of quarterfinals, semi-finals and final. The top eight teams will also get direct slots in next season's IWL, which will be played on a home-and-away basis.

So far, a total of five seasons of IWL have been played. Eastern Sporting Union won the inaugural season in 2016-17, defeating Rising Students' Club in the final by 3-0. Rising Students' Club avenged this loss in the 2017-18 season by winning the trophy and defeating Eastern Sporting Union in the final. Sethu won the 2018-19 edition of the tournament, defeating Manipur Police in the final.

Gokulam Kerala is the most successful team in the league's history, winning the tournament in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

Groupings:Group A: Gokulam Kerala FC, Mata Rukmani FC, HOPS FC, Misaka United FC, Kahaani FC, East Bengal FC, Sports Odisha and Mumbai Knights FC.

Group B: Sethu FC, Kickstart FC, Celtic Queens FC, Eastern Sporting Union, CRPF FC, Churchill Brothers FCG, Lords FA Kochi and Odisha FC. (ANI)

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