Football’s governing body FIFA, on Monday, unveiled an Asiatic lioness called Ibha as the official mascot for the 2022 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, marking exactly one year until the competition begins in India.
Ibha represents women power (Nari Shakti) and through it, FIFA aims to inspire women and encourage them to reach their full potential. The announcement coincided with the International Day of the Girl Child.
Ibha loosely translates to “one with good vision or judgement” in the Khasi language, usually spoken in northeast India.
“Ibha symbolises courage and strength, which are core qualities of every woman, while also embodying the vibrance and visionary spirit of the tournament,” All India Football Federation president and local organising committee chairman Praful Patel said.
“It is an appropriate occasion to reveal the mascot who will stand for a powerful and lively image that will inspire women to take new strides in not just football, but in other walks of life too,” Patel added.
A total of 16 youth teams will contest in the biennial competition to be held between October 11 and 30 in 2022.
Spain are the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2018. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic.