The official mascot of the football U-17 Women’s World Cup, Ibha – an Asiatic lioness, was unveiled by FIFA on Monday. The launch marks exactly one year to go until the football U-17 Women’s World Cup kicks off.
The announcement of the football U-17 Women’s World Cup mascot coincided with the International Day of the Girl Child. Ibha aims to inspire women and girls across India and around the world to realize their potential, a release from the world football body said.
Representing “Nari Shakti”, or women power, Ibha is a strong, playful and charming Asiatic lioness that aims to inspire and encourage women and girls by using teamwork, resilience, kindness and empowering others.
In addition to the meaning behind her name, which approximately translates in Khasi as ‘one with good vision or judgment’, Ibha also hopes to encourage girls in India and around the world to make the right decisions and reach their full potential.
Fans will have fun interacting with Ibha: Sarai Bareme
Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer, said in a statement that Ibha is an inspiring character and fans would have a lot of fun interacting with the official mascot. Bareman said:
“Ibha is a strong, playful and charming Asiatic lioness that aims to inspire and encourage women and girls by using teamwork, resilience, kindness and empowering others. Ibha is a really exciting and inspiring character, one that young fans across India and around the world will have a lot of fun enjoying and interacting with in the lead-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India next year.”
“2022 is on course to be a hugely significant year for women’s football, with the future stars of the game set to showcase their skills in India – just nine months before the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) President and Local Organizing Committee (LOC) chairman Praful Patel added:
“The launch of the official mascot, Ibha, is yet another significant milestone achieved on the road to hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022. Ibha symbolizes courage and strength, which are core qualities of every woman, while also embodying the vibrance and visionary spirit of the tournament.”
The football U-17 Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be held in India from October 11 to 30, 2022.