London: Indian woman footballer Aditi Chauhan, who plays as a goalkeeper for English side West Ham United Ladies, is facing deportation as she cannot renew her visa due to rules and regulations of the Football Association. The 22-year-old made history by becoming the first woman from the Indian national team to play in the English League four months ago.
But now she is likely to return to India due to visa problems, ‘The Telegraph’ has reported. Last year, Aditi came to Britain on a student visa to pursue a Master’s degree in sports management from Loughborough University and began giving trials with clubs in the women’s leagues like Millwall Lionesses, a second division club. However, she could not join the club due to the FA rules.
According to the rules of the FA — English football’s governing body — a player on a student visa cannot join a club in the top two tiers of women’s football. Thereafter, she signed a one-year deal with third division team, West Ham United Ladies.
Aditi’s student visa is about to expire and even though the team had planned to sponsor her for a work visa, she cannot apply for a work visa through the club as West Ham are in the third tier and classed as semi-professional. “There is nothing to do but laugh at it,” Aditi told The Telegraph.
“I was not allowed to play in the first or second division at first, but now I’m not allowed to play in any divisions but those. It’s just ridiculous and stupid,” she added.