We are to be blamed for the sorry state of Indian football

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In India, sports is synonym to Cricket and only Cricket. Yesterday if you noticed, we did face a certain glimpse of the same. India XI playing against Somerset, a small non-metropolitan county in the United Kingdom and thanks to Suresh Raina we were saved from hard-hitting disappointment. Well this ordinary story was covered as an important story in the sports section of the tabloid. Nonetheless, at the same time India did achieve something bigger and better.

Yes, i am talking about Indian soccer team beating Qatar in Doha. Being currently ranked 147 in the FIFA Football Rankings, beating a  side which is more than 50 ranks above is an achievement in itself. Indian media does talk about the criticism, corruption and the incapability of AIFF, but to galvanize the evils of Indian football is totally absent in them. A small column in some corner is not what this story deserved!

We Indians, especially football fanatics blame the lack of football infrastructure present, but how many of us did change our Facebook status from ‘I am so bored sitting at home’ to ‘India Beat Qatar in Soccer, Proud to be an Indian’?  The answer is ‘Dimunitive Audience’. We often do share stuff on the internet through personal medium about Manchester, Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi but how many of us did share the supercilious story of Indian victory.

Suresh Raina and some Indian batsmen playing sublime was all over the net, but Sunil Chetri who is also an Indian Soccer Fame and Muhammed Razzak couldn’t manage to even get an important article on the media platform. Let’s not blame everything on the government, let’s keep ourselves responsible for our own actions too. This is just a brief of the entire scenario. Is there anyone who really applauded the lads and gave them motivation to do well in their future games? We want them to do well in FIFA World Rankings, want them to win in Asia and book a spot in the upcoming FIFA World Cup, what steps as Indians are we taking towards them to reach our Goal? Zilch!

To all those readers let me ask you this question, What is it we are lacking? Is it the Indian infrastructure or the Indian support towards football?

IMAGE COURTESY: thepeninsularqatar.com

11 COMMENTS

  1. its not india is lacking talented youths to play fotball, its the govt.investing too much in cricket. I’m not critisizing the cricket team, but, just love drawing attentions in football. Have you noticed the condition of the match against UAE in Delhi? A nightmare!

  2. @ Madhav Das,

    I disagree to the fact that the entry should be FREE.

    Taking example of Mumbai alone. At present, there are 800+ teams in the MSSA Inter-School Circuit and approximately 500 registered clubs in the Mumbai District Football Association’s Mumbai Football League. At an average of 18 per team, right there is a total of 23, 400 registered football players in the city. Just dwell on that for a second.

    Not fans. Just players.
    23,400.

    Come to think of it, a figure like 5,000 to 6,000 like practically peanuts if the Mumbai District FA and Western India FA pull up their socks and start strategically targeting just this demographic.

    If the cards are played right, we can generate good amount of funds from the existing system. All it needs is planning and motivated people.

    *Stats collected by Shailesh Karkera, admin MDFA.

  3. Many years ago I went to see a football match in Coimbatore between two teams from the Indian railways. I went to the ticket window and was told that the cheapest ticket was for Rs 100/-. The man at the ticket window looked at me like I was crazy to even want to see the match.
    Finally I bought a ticket and went in to find that other than the 22 guys knocking the ball around there were only a few railway guys who looked like they would have preferred to attend office than be there. Then there was me of course.
    Needless to say I felt like a fool. At half time I got chatting with some of the Railway officials and told them that they ought to allow free entry to encourage interest in football. One man said that he had made a similar suggestion and his boss had told him that he would transfer him to the Laccadive islands where there are no railways. He never opened his mouth again.
    All football matches in India for the next ten years or until we qualify for a World Cup group match should have FREE entry.
    In 2009 during the Santosh Trophy quarter finals there were just about fifty people in a stadium which can hold about 30,000 spectators.
    The entire lot of officials who handle football in India should be summarily dismissed and then re-employed to sell tickets at football matches. They will die of inactivity and boredom in six months.

    Lets get people to first watch matches. The interest will follow.

  4. The article very rightly nails the issue on the head. And it is a brilliant effort to start speaking about it rather than tch it away amongst friends and colleagues. Awareness is the first step towards change. Nice work Himanshu!

    • of course I will..in fact, I am also an author here 😛
      I will suggest you to show this to all your cricket loving friends. The problem with Football websites is that they are often circulated only among Football lovers, who know most of the issues. The challenge is to get non-indian football followers to get hooked and to atleast make them see what’s happening, whether they will like it or not is a different issue altogether. All we can do is to atleast make sure news is reached

  5. Hey, Himanshu I have not read your articles before, but I think this is spot on..really loved this piece…its very refreshing and the points u raised are absolutely correct… we need more such articles, not only in internet but also in newspaper, and such stories in TV etc.. I believe Indian football can go all the way

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