ISL is a poor medicine for the future of Indian football

ISL is a poor medicine for the future of Indian football

By Hemanshu Chaturvedi | 1 October, 2016
 Indian Super League, Football, Indian sports, young players, Football Gods, young football generation, Diego Forlan
Diego Forlan.
Football is a sleeping giant in Indian sports. I had said in 2004 where I saw football emerge as a game of the future, what was missing was a systematic way forward.
Football is a sleeping giant in Indian sports. I had said in 2004 where I saw football emerge as a game of the future, what was missing was a systematic way forward. The young players in India know almost all about the leading international players and their achievements as if they were sports analysts themselves. The intensity with which our young footballers watch all leagues on TV gives me hope for a better future of football in India. In fact, such is the fan following of the game that all youngsters sleep in  the day to watch matches all night- an act otherwise they will never do.

In the flow of leagues gathering momentum we saw Indian Super League being launched with a lot of hungama. The football fraternity of India both past and present were excited and looking forward to the “Football Gods” playing on Indian soil, but unfortunately the big names were missing in the draft list-- all players who have past their peak have come to play the ISL.

The organisers of the league did not take the challenge well and they walked an easy path, let’s compare it to other leagues like say the  IPTL-  where we have all top players in world are playing; the IPL- has all the heart throbs playing; IBL- has the best participating and PWL- which had best wrestlers competing then why is the ISL an expiry medicine for Indian football !!! .

I am sure the idea to organize the league was to take Indian football to a different league but unfortunately the quality of players brought was much below par. The football education in our country is unimaginable, in fact if we run few international quiz on the game lots of prizes will come our way.

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The league was expected to showcase the highest level of game and encourage the young football generation to become like one of them. The other point was interaction of our players with the superstar’s for allowing them to learn the nuances of the game, but nothing of this sort ever happened.

I think the league was launched under pressure or for competition with other leagues. The organizers should have picked up the best icon players even if the launch would have waited for a while. Today the kind of interest we see in our youngsters for watching the international leagues on channels is totally missing for our own ISL.

I wish we can still change our path and get the best of current players to participate in the ISL-- get football the place it has among our youngsters, the revenues will change drastically. As a game football has the largest fan following in the world and the idea of organizing  ISl is to do the same in India. I can see the hungry Indian football fans rushing to the stadia with hope of watching a game close to what they witness in Premier League or La Liga but they are disappointed.

The time is ripe for the Indian football organizers to cash in on the madness of Indian fans and create a hero like Ronaldo  or Messy out of this league. That will be the day when India will be playing the World Cup.  

The columnist is a sports guru


There are 3 Comments

This year the standard of ISL is not up to the mark. The quality of ISL matches has gone down and not at all satisfactory to the supporters. 06 foreign players are played in ISL. Most of the players playing since 2014 have become old and lost their form. Marquee players are all retired veterans or reject of all other developed football playing nations that is why they are here to earn their pension. Quality of other foreign players is not up to the desired level. Indian players are better than them. If it continues like this then ISL will not survive in the near future. We all know that I-League and ISL is going to be merged in 2017. This is a good decision. Clubs which are bright face of Indian soccer like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, and Mohammedan Sporting should be included. These clubs are supporter based clubs who can make the new tournament shine like EPL, La Liga, Bundesh Liga, Serie A. This will increase the attraction of the tournament. It took long long years for English Premier League to reach these heights and earn more respect than Cricket which was also born in England. And today in England EPL is more popular than so called game Cricket which is played by only 8-10 countries. Once upon a time India was semi finalist in Olympic football and champion in Asian Games. We had world class football players like P. K. Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Sailen Manna, Balaram, Habib, Subhash Bhowmick, Surojit Sengupta, etc., etc., whose quality skills could be compared with today’s players who are playing in various club tournaments in England, Spain, Germany and Italy. I am sure. Today we are unable to generate new quality football players from Bengal because of lack of infrastructure and quality training. Once this new League becomes popular like Cricket I am sure national advertisers will start running after this tournament. Please give a serious thought to it. Regards, Milon Kumar Pandit Kolkata Mob: 9433931948

My son plays football and he is hardcore football fan. He is playing football from the age of 4 and now is 6.5 yrs old. I sometime feel bit worried thinking about the future but I feel if he works hard then In another 4-5 years he will be world class. I concentrate on his sprint/agility/dribbling/trapping/passing/shooting skills these days. He has impressed every coach till now.. I will keep him motivated and keep my fingers crossed.

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