Indian Women’s Football Team midfielder Yumnam Kamala Devi has announced her retirement following India’s withdrawal from the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022.
From Thoubal, Manipur, Kamala Devi made her international debut in 2010 and has scored 33 goals in 51 appearances for the Blue Tigresses. She won the SAFF Championship in 2010, 2012, 2014 & 2016 and the gold medal in the South Asian games in 2010 & 2016 with the national team. Yumnam was declared the AIFF Women’s Player of the Year in 2017.
At club level, Kamala Devi spent the majority of her career representing Railways. Besides Railways, she turned up for Eastern Sporting Union (ESU), FC Kolhapur City and Gokulam Kerala FC. She won the inaugural IWL with ESU in 2016-17 and with Gokulam Kerala FC in 2019-20.
Yumnam only recently got back in to the national team reckoning under new head coach Thomas Dennerby. She and six other Manipuri players had boycotted the national team over the then coaching staff’s alleged ‘divide and rule policy.’
In India’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 opener against Iran held recently (the 0-0 draw was eventually declared null & void), Kamala Devi was an unused substitute. The 29-year-old would be denied her swansong following India’s forced withdrawal from the tournament due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the national team setup.
ESPN’s Anirudh Menon writes about her retirement and why the serial winner deserved better.
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