Indian Women's Football Team forward Bala Devi has signed for Scottish Women's Premier League Club champions Rangers FC. The announcement was made via a press conference from Bengaluru FC on Wednesday, who have facilitated the deal between the two parties.
Earlier in November, Bengaluru FC managed a trial for Bala where she impressed the Scottish outfit despite challenging climatic conditions. The 29-year-old even sounded confident that India could see more women players in Europe soon.
“To play my football in Europe with one of the biggest clubs in the world is something I could never have dreamed of. I hope my move to Rangers serves as an example to all the women footballers back home in India who dream of taking up the sport professionally," Bala was quoted as saying to Rangers Football Club's official website.
Previously, Aditi Chauhan played two seasons for West Ham United Ladies as their goalkeeper in the FA Women's National League, which sits at the third and fourth levels of women's football pyramid in England.
Acquiring a work permit is a challenging task for Indian footballers. In 2018, FIFA U-17 World Cup player Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem bagged a deal with Motherwell SC but couldn't sign a contract with them as India wasn't ranked in Top 70 in FIFA Rankings.
But, with the Indian women's team being ranked 57 and Bala having made 58 international appearances for the Blue Tigresses, it wasn't a tough task for her. Bala Devi putting pen to paper with Scottish giants is a huge development for Indian women's football as it could serve as an inspiration for an entire generation of players to try their luck abroad.