Srinagar, Jan 31: Jammu Kashmir Female football team is ready to take on Pondichery on February 2 (Friday) at Odisha.
The Jammu Kashmir team is led by Kashmir’s first female football coach and referee Nadia Nighat who hails from Rambagh area of Kashmir capital Srinagar.
Senior National Championship for Women is being held in Odisha India while Jammu Kashmir team will play it’s first match against Pondichery.
This will be for the first time when majority of the women footballers from Kashmir will represent the team. Nadiya is the first player from Kashmir Valley who will represent the team as Captain.
“Out of total 20 players from the State, 12 are from Kashmir Valley. This is for the first time that girls from Kashmir have outnumbered their Jammu friends,” said Nadiya Nighat who also runs her own football club.
Besides Nadiya, some of the players from Kashmir include Saabia, Rukiya, Saika, Iynan, Uqba, Tamana, Insha, Alka, Zeenat and Mehnaz.
“These are all fresher’s and I hope they will give their best in the tournament,” Nadiya said.
In past most of the players used to come from Jammu but time has changed now while women players from Kashmir have started showing their interest in sports.
While talking about her passion for the football, Nadiya told this reporter that she never felt she is a girl. “I grew up playing football with boys. I always gave my best and never suffered from inferiority complex,” she said.
“It was my hard work, passion and performance that in 2015, the All India Football Association declared me the ‘best referee’ for officiating a boys football tournament in the State,” she added.
“Where I stand today, it is just because of my father who always encouraged me. My father believes in me and never makes me feel that I can’t do what boys are capable for.” (CNS)