Kolkata Oct 12 (IANS) In what could be music to India female football goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan’s ears, English Premier League (EPL) club West Ham United have taken full control of their women’s team after claims of discrimination.
Chauhan is back in England with a work permit and has joined West Ham women’s team again after her first stint, where she scripted history by becoming the first Indian female footballer to play for an English club.
The Hammers eves, who play in the Premier League southern division (third tier of women’s club football), had their former chairman Stephen Hunt, accusing West Ham of refusing to provide funding for the women players and even forcing them to pay their own medical bills.
According to a Guardian report, Hunt also claimed his team has had to train by the side of a road as West Ham would not let them use the gym.
Hunt had a number of issues with the club and claimed the players could not afford a physiotherapist or a coach to take them to matches and were playing in last season’s home kit, with the names of players crossed out on the back.
“I don’t know much about the development. But I am happy with whatever I have read,” Chauhan told IANS from London on Wednesday.
“I’m not very sure what it will mean. But it’s positive and that is encouraging news,” Chauhan, who is West Ham’s first choice goalkeeper, said.
The club’s vice-chair, Karren Brady, was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “West Ham United Ladies have operated separately to the club for 25 years and today marks the next step in building the future of women’s football at West Ham United.
“The addition of the ladies into the West Ham family is the solution my board and I have long sought,” Brady said.
“Not only does it secure the long-term future of the women’s side but also guarantees that current and future supporters, players and staff of the women’s team will form an integral part of the club’s bright future as we move forward.
“From the top down, West Ham United is passionately committed to equality, particularly for women, and that is precisely why ladies’ football is such a high priority on our agenda. We are delighted to be able to support West Ham United women’s continued progression, and look forward to building the momentum that will see the team become an institution that our club and our supporters can be proud of,” she added.