In recognition of the contribution made by the two women footballers from Manipur, Ngangom Bala Devi and Oinam Bembem, the State Cabinet has decided to promote them to Inspector rank in the state police department.
Making the announcement on Twitter, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh wrote, “Acknowledging their contributions to Women’s Football in the international level the State Cabinet has decided to promote world-renown Manipuri female footballers Ngangom Bala Devi and Oinam Bembem, who brought great laurels to the state, to Inspector Rank in Police Department.”
Ngangom Bala Devi won her first competitive goal for Rangers at the 85th minute in their 9-0 win against the Motherwell Rangers Women’s Football Club on Sunday. With this feat, Devi became the first-ever Indian woman footballer to score in a European professional league game.
Before joining Rangers WFC, Bala has won three South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship trophies in 2010, 2014, and 2016. She had also received the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Women’s Player of the Year Award in 2014 and 2015. Ngangom Bala Devi joined the Scottish Women’s Premier League club Rangers in January 2020 for an 18 month-long contract. Till now, Bala held the position of constable in the state police department.
Arjuna Awardee Oinam Bembem Devi is nicknamed as the “Durga of Indian Football“.
She is also the recipient of India’s highly prestigious award Padma Shri 2020. Devi began her career as a footballer in 1988 when she began training at the United Pioneers Club in Imphal. At the national level, Devi is a regular member of the Manipur state football team for woman since the year 1993. She has been appointed the captain of her state team since the 32nd National Games held in Hyderabad, where she led her state to victory.