Sky and Sporting Equals celebrate the first-ever timeline and showcase the history of South Asian female players in a modern English game | Soccer News

Sky Sports has celebrated the anniversary of its partnership with Sporting Equals by creating a first-of-its-kind timeline documenting the modern history of South Asian female players in the English game.

Marking the evolution of women’s football in the era of the Women’s Super League, the timeline highlights 20 current and former players of South Asian descent, who have paved the way in the game in various leagues across Great Britain. Brittany.

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr, Manchester United and Wales goalkeeper Safia Middleton-Patel (on loan from Coventry United) and former West Ham and Watford winger Rosie Kmita are among the players whose achievements are celebrated in the timeline.

Sam Kerr, who has an Indian grandmother, was named Barclays FA Women’s Super League Player of the Season last season

The timeline was organized by sky sports FA Level 2 journalist and scout Dev Trehan and is part of a wider exhibition organized by Sporting Equals which also features four role models from the UK South Asian community who are currently plying their trade in the women’s game.

Following a recent successful pilot, the exhibit will be officially unveiled at the Race Equality: State of the Sector event at Stamford Bridge on March 23. The exhibition, which takes place at an auspicious time of the year for South Asians of different faiths, will then go on tour.


The four players featured are FA Women’s Championship footballers Millie Chandarana (Blackburn Rovers), Simran Jhamat (Coventry United), FA Women’s National League players Kira Rai (Derby County) and Mariam Mahmood (West Bromwich Albion).

Sky Sports’ Dev Trehan said: “Creating a timeline and shining a light on these incredible female role models is a huge step forward for women’s football as well as South Asian communities.

More South Asians in football

“I am hugely grateful to the players and their families, their clubs and coaches, and people in the world of football and the wider community, including Sky and Sporting Equals, for the support that has made this possible. project to come to fruition.

“Documenting the journey of female players of South Asian descent in the modern English game has both historical significance and cultural significance, representing a true legacy for current and future generations.”

West Bromwich Albion striker Mariam Mahmood said“It’s an honor to be on the timeline and to have my story presented in this way.

“Education and closing the knowledge gap about South Asians in football remains a major issue. Our stories matter and I hope this will create positive awareness and encourage more children – especially girls of South Asian descent – ​​to get into the game and love playing football.”

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Brentford board member Preeti Shetty told Sky Sports News she hopes her appointment gives South Asian women hope that they can be whoever they want to be.

The Lionesses captured the hearts and minds of the nation when they won the Women’s Euro last summer, but their triumph has rekindled debate over the diversity of the game’s elite side after England fielded an eleven all-white starter for every game in the tournament.

Current and former players Eni Aluko, Lianne Sanderson and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk have all spoken to Sky Sports News on the lack of ethnic diversity, with Chelsea manager Emma Hayes recently adding that women’s football is “quite middle class” in her view.

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Sheffield United’s Courtney Sweetman-Kirk has called for urgent action to address the lack of diversity in women’s football.

According to the PFA (2022), only 9.7% of female footballers at the elite level of women’s football are of diverse ethnicity. British South Asians are the country’s largest ethnic minority group, but only 0.6% of women’s Super League players are from the community, despite the worldwide success of the 2002 blockbuster film ‘Play it like Beckham’, based on an aspiring British footballer of South Asian descent.

Last year, Sky teamed up with national sports racing equality charity Sporting Equals as part of a shared desire to help tackle under-representation by tackling some of the barriers affecting the participation and progression of British talent in South Asian football, particularly in women’s football.

Blackburn Rovers midfielder Millie Chandarana said: “This is a very important project, documenting progress and helping to change the narrative. We can now see all the great things these girls have done and continue to do, and it’s great to be a part of it.

“I hope this will inspire many others, to show that a career in football is possible for women in the South Asian community.”

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Derby County women’s winger Kira Rai says beating the odds of succeeding in football makes the journey even more enjoyable.

Derby County winger Kira Rai said: “To feature alongside fabulous South Asian women as part of English women’s football history is a huge source of pride for me, my family and my football club.

“We know women’s football is not as diverse as it should be, and I want to play my part in helping to change that. I hope it inspires the next generation and gives talented girls like me the belief that they can also succeed in the game.”

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Sporting Equals chief executive Arun Kang says helping South Asian female footballers with elite potential to succeed will inspire the next generation of players in the community.

Sporting Equals CEO Arun Kang OBE said: “This exhibition serves as an inspiration, showing that South Asian women have a place in the game and can achieve anything. There have been great strides in women’s football, but this community is being overlooked.

“We are proud to partner with Sky Sports to grow the domestic game and delighted to launch this one-of-a-kind showcase of female footballers of South Asian descent at our Race Equality event at Chelsea Football Club.”

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Bristol City Women striker Simran Jhamat is a ‘flag bearer’ for British South Asians who dream of success in the game, says Charlton manager Riteesh Mishra.

Coventry United striker Simran Jhamat said: “It’s amazing to be involved in this legacy project. Seeing is believing – and I hope it inspires children and parents alike.

“We all want to see more South Asian players come through so we can be confident when we say it doesn’t matter what race or religion you are and football is for everyone. Nothing is easy in this industry. and all the players have worked tirelessly to get where they are.”

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Manisha Tailor MBE says more work needs to be done to improve diversity in women’s and elite women’s football.

Muslimah Sports Association (MSA) Chairman and FA National Game Board Member Yashmin Harun said: “Understanding the history of South Asian female players in the game and reflecting on their journeys is very important for us to get to where we want to be in terms of making elite women’s football more diverse and representative of the nation. .

“These inspiring women are shining role models, changing the way we see the game and paving the way for the next generation to flourish. They turn dreamers into believers and it is important to shine a light on them and celebrate achievements .”

British South Asians in football

For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on and the South Asians in the Game blog and stay tuned to Sky Sports News And our Sky Sports digital platforms.

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