The soccer girls of Alakhpura village of Bhiwani district, who had participated in international football matches last year, are ready to sacrifice their night sleep for the next one month to watch the top players from 32 countries in action in the FIFA World Cup that kicked off in Brazil on Thursday.
Munish, Manju and Sanju of this non-descript village who were part of India’s contingent in a soccer meet in France gained recognition after their formidable performance against Brazil in quarterfinals, though they lost the match. Girls in under-17 and under-19 categories religiously hit the ground for football practice, which was started in 2006 with the support of their school physical training instructor.
Deepika Kumari of this village, who captained Haryana team in the recently concluded All India University Championship, said Diwali is the biggest festival of the year for all, but for them the World Cup is all the more special as it takes place after four years.
On their plans for the World Cup, Kavita, another team member from this village, said though nothing can beat the experience of watching football matches live they will watch it on TV at home.
Govardhan Dass, their mentor and PTI who coaches over 100 girls from this village and nearby villages, said seeing their talent the state government has sanctioned a football academy in the village.