Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Rage, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    I put here, for your perusal, an article from The Hindu on the prospects and potential for the future of the piede sport in our country, the challenges and roadblocks we face in popularizing the sport at the grassroots level, the challenge of talent management & recruitment, and invite your discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the sport as it is practiced in India at the present and its governing bodies.


    A future for football?

    The DBYC's State-level football tournament conducted recently had all the trappings of the earlier days when a match evoked a festive mood attracting a huge crowd. It is only an indication that there is still hope for the game.

    WHAT IS a football final without the ambience of a goodly crowd? The sight inspires everyone. The cheer from thousands watching a player can have a great soothing effect than the ice, water and spray, which by far form the standard tools in the hands of first-aid attendants on a football field. Considered a common man's sport, more because of the low cost involved in practising it, football has perhaps scripted the greatest number of rags-to-riches story in the history of sports.

    It still is a game that is identified with the downtrodden for, the fact remains that only in football can you hear of a talent rising from merely kicking objects made into shapes of a ball before going on to kicking the real football and becoming a legend in his lifetime. Talk of football, don't the names Pele and Maradona come to mind instantly, men who rose from humble settings and enchanted millions of football fans and also raked in millions for their God-given gift?

    Over 200 countries in the world patronise football. In India, actually the national scene is limited to Bengal, Kerala and Goa. This, despite football in India being a multi-crore-rupee industry more so after the advent of the national league, seven seasons ago.

    A city like Chennai, which until a few decades ago attracted football tournaments with rousing crowd support, has baffled observers with the growing spectator disinterest. A national league match, for instance, involving the state's best team and other glamour teams at the modern Nehru stadium with a seating capacity of over 40,000 is today witnessed in a virtually sepulchral setting with hardly a few hundreds making for a crowd.

    Old timers puzzled at the current trend rave about how even in the 1980's, all roads would lead to the old Corporation stadium (on which the current Nehru stadium stands) at the time of a football tournament. Festoons and banners fluttering in the evening breeze, mikes blaring out popular Tamil film numbers, eateries around making roaring business and then of course, the jostling crowd, it is an experience to savour for a football fan. Then comes the excitement on the turf. It must be said the standards of the game too were a notch higher than what is seen in present times. At least a few players had their own set of devoted followers.

    It was thus these curious trappings of earlier times that one came across in the conduct of the Don Bosco Youth Centre's (DBYC) state-level tournament in memory of a football lover and a former official of the then Madras Football Association, Fr McFerran at Wisdom Town in Red Hills, some 30 km away from the city. The crowd, the festive mood, the music in the air, everything formed a throwback to the early Chennai days when watching football matches was an indulgent pastime at the Corporation stadium. The cheering and jeering formed part and parcel of the proceedings even as misdirected kicks brought about a ripple in the stands to grasp the ball or deflect it away. If the Red Hills experience is any indication then there is hope for football not in the city but on the outskirts such as Tambaram, Kanchipuram, Poonamallee, Avadi and Tiruvallur, where the enthusiasm of both the organisers and the public has been a revelation. What made the DBYC venture different is that it sought to extend the love for the game that the late Fr McFerran had expressed during his time in the city. The Irish priest was well known for his services towards the uplift of the downtrodden and he believed that football was one sport that helped in character-building. Besides, the sport is easily identified with the poor and the under-privileged. The various DBYCs in the city encourage members to take up this game and the tournament adds to developing interest in the neighbourhood. In present times, the DBYC owes it to Fr N. Gerrard, who had the experience of being closely associated with Fr McFerran, for keeping the tournament alive and providing the villages around the Wisdom Town area an annual festival of sorts.

    "Last year, there was a bigger crowd because the temporary stands rose higher and there were more seats. Around 5,000 was the average daily attendance and 15,000 on the final day," said Fr Gerrard on the rousing start to the tournament at the new venue. However, like any sports event that lacked enough sponsorship and depended on donations, tightening the expenses became mandatory. Still an arena with a full audience and the presence of the Thiruvallur district collector on the final day only raised the stature of the tournament.

    "A national-level tournament" is what Fr Gerrard dreams of to motivate the youth in the villages around Red Hills though what is also close to his heart is launching a sports academy at the centre to "develop sports skills and talent and in turn make outstanding sportspersons and good citizens".

    What, however, makes him cautious is the uncertainty with regard to financial support, in particular from the Government. The huge expenses incurred in levelling the earth and converting it into a good playground apart from raising the temporary structure are only too difficult for a non-governmental body to handle in the absence of adequate financial support. However, what Fr Gerrard was glad about this time was the gesture of the Member-Secretary of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, P.W.C. Davidar, to be present on a match day not only to see for himself the enthusiasm at the centre for the competition but also to discuss areas where DBYC and the SDAT could work hand in hand to encourage sports development in the Red hills area. It is a small start that promises major gains in the seasons to come.

    For the moment, however, if someone wishes to see a football match amidst a good gathering, forget the city, go to the outskirts!

    S.R. SURAYANARAYAN


    The Hindu : A future for football?
     
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Aha! Now this is what I've been waiting for. Get a few stars, pack the house with some dancing girls, and I'll buy tickets to every match.


    Football may go IPL way

    AIFF wants to take a leaf out of IPL's book

    [​IMG]

    KOLKATA: All India Football Federation (AIFF) is thinking of unleashing an 'IPL-like revolution' in Indian soccer. AIFF sources are claiming that
    in the coming days, clubs like of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal may get handed over to cash-rich franchises, which will be in a position to rope in leading players from outside the country.

    The AIFF, taking a cue from the Indian cricket board, is pondering a proposal to introduce a tournament involving the biggest names in business and entertainment. Newly-elected AIFF president Praful Patel has shown interest in the project and the Football House in New Delhi is busy preparing a blueprint.

    "We had preliminary discussions with a few leading businessmen in the country and the project seems to have appealed to them. Talks are also on for a media deal with a television company interested in broadcasting the event. But we don't want to jump the gun and are keeping several options open," the official added.

    Although the AIFF has not set a deadline for the project, Patel, it is learnt, is in touch with UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya and Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani, who own two franchisees in the IPL - Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians, respectively.

    Salman Khan, who was unveiled as the brand ambassador of Indian football during the Nehru Cup in August, can play a key role in the project, it is thought. AIFF mandarins have been on overdrive after the IPL caught the eye of both FIFA and its Asian counterpart, AFC, which are encouraging the Indian officials to set in motion a similar project in the country.

    According to AIFF insiders, three 'models' are being discussed to brand the game uniquely in this cricket-crazy nation. First, the federation can take a leaf directly out of the BCCI's book and set up a separate league. The second idea is to get celebrities from different walks of life associated with top I-League clubs by sponsoring them.

    However, given the staggering amount of money such a project will involve, the AIFF is also keeping a third option open - which would see the existing I-League structure getting a brand-specific facelift, whereby the country's premier club tournament could be managed by a separate entity other than the AIFF, as per the AFC's Pro-League guidelines.


    AIFF wants to take a leaf out of IPL's book - Top Stories - Football - Sports - The Times of India
     
  5. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    IMG-Reliance to float tenders for Indian Super League :borat:
    IANS, New Delhi. March 2, 2014

    LINK: business-standard.com/article/news-ians/img-reliance-to-float-tenders-for-indian-super-league-114030200619_1.html

    International players such as Dwight Yorke, Fredrik Ljungberg, Robert Pirès, Louis Saha, and Hernán Crespo. Managers confirmed so far include Peter Schmeichel, Marcel Desailly and Kenny Dalglish.
     
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  6. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    What the hell is soccer.
    It is called Football. You play it with your foot, hence football. How hard is that to understand ? :dude:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
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  7. Apollyon

    Apollyon Führer Senior Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    Football is only popular among 'Angrezi boyzz' in North India. :taunt:
     
  8. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    They are vey popular in four states i.e. Meghalaya, Kerala, Goa and West Bengal.
     
  9. Excelias

    Excelias Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    For football to become popular in India like cricket,the sport will have to see some real international success.Cricket too gained a large part of its present day popularity to our 1983 stunner.Before that it was a lot about hockey among the Indian masses.
     
  10. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    What you are saying is Cricket became popular in India because India won the 1983 World Cup? So does this mean India needs to win FIFA World cup to make it popular?:shocked:

    Anyway, I request everyone to support India's bid for 2015-16 FIFA Club World Cup. For more details go to link below.

    LINK: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_FIFA_Club_World_Cup
     
  11. datguy79

    datguy79 Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    IIRC the historical name is soccer. The British only started calling it football in the 1960s.
     
  12. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    I would be shocked if India won that bid
     
  13. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    According to wiki, the word soccer is formed out of an abbreviation of Association football. :taunt:
     
  14. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    What do you mean by shock? It will popularize football in India and Indian-League clubs will have the opportunity to play against top European clubs and win millions of dollars.
     
  15. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    Sons of sex worker, street vendor to train with Manchester United
    AFP
    Kolkata, March 16, 2014

    LINK: hindustantimes.com/sports-news/football/sons-of-sex-worker-street-vendor-to-train-with-man-utd/article1-1195900.aspx

    Two Indian teenagers, one the son of a sex worker and the other a street vendor, are among young players chosen to take part in a Manchester United Football Club training camp.

    Rajib Boy, whose mother earns Rs. 200 (three dollars) a day, said he was dreaming big after being selected to travel to Britain next month for the Manchester United Soccer School after a talent hunt.

    "Cristiano Ronaldo is my idol. I am focusing on scoring goals," Rajib said in Sonargachi, the red-light district in Kolkata, where he lives with his mother in a one-room home in a run-down building.

    Often derided because of his mother's work, the 16-year-old said he was too focused on training hard at his local Kolkata school to care what others thought.

    "I am not ashamed of being a sex worker's son. She is my main source of inspiration. (But) I want to take her out of the red light district as early as possible," Rajib told AFP recently.

    "Every day I am visiting a temple of Lord Shiva to pray for my son's success," his mother said.

    Rajib was one of 11 teenagers chosen in February to take part in the one-off training camp, following a nationwide talent hunt for trials held by club coaches in the seaside state of Goa in the cricket-mad country.

    India's telecom giant Bharti Airtel, a club sponsor, organised the trials.

    Arka Dey, 16, said he was looking forward to the chance of fulfilling his father's wishes after he died from cancer three years ago.

    "My father was a fan of Brazilian star Pele. He was my first coach," he said.

    "I still can't believe that I have been selected," said Arka, who helps his mother run a roadside snack-stall in Kolkata.

    "If I score a goal for one team, I am hired to play for another team and I earn a little money," he said, imagining what could happen.

    "One of my neighbours has promised me to buy me a nice kit and good pair of shoes before I leave," he said.

    After she heard the news, his mother Suchanda said she walked five kilometres (three miles) to a temple to offer prayers.

    Although India is best known for its devotion to cricket, English football's globally popular Premier League has started to make inroads in recent years. Liverpool have set up an "International Academy" in Pune.
     
  16. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Re: Cricket and Football: The future of Football in India- can Socca e

    Reds Slumdog Millionaire? Penniless Indian footballer handed Manchester United trial
    Apr 18, 2014 16:18

    LINK: manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/manchester-united-offer-trial-barefoot-7008088

    Striker Rajib Roy, aged 16, could become a real-life Slumdog Millionaire after being spotted by United scouts at a tournament for India's best youngsters.

    A teenager who plays football barefoot on the back streets of Kolkata has been chosen to train with Manchester United.

    Striker Rajib Roy, aged 16, could become a real-life Slumdog Millionaire after being spotted by United scouts at a tournament for India's best youngsters.

    Rajib is the son of a sex worker and lives in a tiny single room with mum Rekha and his younger brother in the biggest red light area in Asia.

    He is among 11 youngsters from India arriving at Old Trafford this weekend who will spend 15 days training with United's coaches.

    Most of the other boys are from well-off families but Rajib lives in the Sonagachi suburb which is home to 12,000 sex workers.

    Rajib said: "People keep asking me how it feels to be my mother's son and then achieve something like this.

    "I don't know how to answer that question.

    "But when my coach told me I had been selected by Manchester United it was like a father's recognition.

    "My mother is a very shy person. She would lock me in my room after lunch so that I could take a nap, but I would quietly sneak out to play with my friends.

    "Last month I was selected along with 30 others to participate in a camp in Goa through a nationwide school championship competition.

    "I arrived late because I took a train from Kolkata. Everybody else took a flight.

    "There were children from rich families who spoke English but I made friends quickly.

    "There was a boy from Mumbai who spoke very good English and translated for me when I interacted with the coaches.

    "He told me that it was perfectly fine if I was not able to communicate in English - a lot of Spanish footballers don't speak English either."

    Rajib's life changed two years ago when his mum sent him to the local Rahul Vidya Niketan school for the children of sex workers.

    It was set up by the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee - a collective of 65,000 sex workers - to improve the lives of their families.

    DMSC founder Dr Samarjit Jana set up a soccer initiative for the children of sex workers, believing sport was the best way to integrate them into mainstream society.

    Earlier this year Rajib was in the West Bengal team which won the National Slum Soccer Tournament in Nagpur.

    Dr. Jana said: "We started a football academy on a very small scale four years ago.

    "It provides training for children of marginalised communities such as sex workers and construction workers.

    "Out of 11 boys selected from this eastern part of India by Manchester United two of them are from our community.

    "I think this is very special because in our country boys like them are stigmatised because of their backgrounds.

    "They have very limited schooling and other opportunities and are very marginalised.

    "There are five million sex workers in India and we are just providing a minority of them with a chance.

    "This shows that if you give them the opportunities they have a chance of success and I'm sure other boys will follow them."

    Also selected to make the trip to Manchester - which will include a tour of Old Trafford - is Rajib's friend Arko Dey.

    His mum ekes a living selling potato and flour snacks from a street stall in Kolkata.

    Like Rajib, he has no father and lives in a small rented house with his mother and 11-year-old sister where they are under constant threat of eviction.

    Arko,17, said: "My mother wept. We live in abject poverty. She knows nothing about Manchester United."
     
  17. ITBP

    ITBP Regular Member

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    Cricket is stupid game. IPL should be banned. India media should broadcast football and hockey news more.
     
  18. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Football fans are stupid. Football fans won't watch I-league on TV. Football fans won't go to stadiums to see their teams play. Hockey managed to turn around into a very successful league, HIL, that attained a quarter of viewership of IPL in first season alone. What stops I-league administrators and football fans from making their league successful? Because they can't stop hating on cricket, that's why. If football fans in India spent even a quarter of time actually watching football instead of whinging about cricket, Indian football would be in much better shape. Look at the comeback Indian Hockey has made in terms of TV ratings, from non-existant to beating international football events like Euro Cup in ratings.
     
  19. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think the difference might be that Indian hockey fans actually follow Indian hockey, while Indian football fans are fans of European clubs/players.
    Also it helps that there a sense of history about Hockey, and a bit of pride...hoping that we will go back to the top at somepoint. These dont exist in Indian football, and need to be created.
    I dont watch either that much, but just a thought.
     
  20. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    After seeing the EPL, German, Spanish league matches at home TV, the I-League becomes too difficult to watch the standard of Indian football is too poor...
     

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