One of the topics closest to my heart, sports-wise.
Read the article. A bit of cricket-bashing, which I do not support, but please read points 3, 4, 7, 8 and 10. And point 9 says it all really. Also, if people in England can be proud to support Huddersfield, Preston, Oxford United and the likes, why can’t you? Supporting Man United and supporting ITI or HAL need not be mutually exclusive.
Ten Reasons Why One Should Follow Indian Football
It is becoming a gradually more evident fact that the biggest market for European football outside Europe is definitely India. People in India are crazy about football. Not only do they keep updated information about every club and its players, but some even spend the extra buck to buy their favourite team’s merchandise.
Yet the conditions of football and its fans in India are not much to speak about, and one needs to realize the need to follow football in India rather than wasting time and energy behind the European delight.
1) Why Follow The Crowd?
Isn’t supporting Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea a very common thing nowadays? Why do you want yourself to feel lost in the crowd? There is no big deal if you can memorize the shirt numbers of the players at Liverpool, Arsenal, or the like. Do something new, get an identity, follow Indian football, and stand out from the crowd!
2) Be The Change
I am sure many of you have seen the movie Rang De Basanti. In a famous scene from India’s Oscar entry, the protagonist urges the youth of India to get itself involved in the functioning of the country and change the things from the grassroots level. Here is our appeal to the knowledgeable youth of the country to stop criticizing Indian football. Be the change, start following the game in India, and let us know how you feel you can contribute to take the game to the next level.
3) Age-Old Traditions
Indian Football has lots of historical moments to cheer about. In India, we have the third-oldest football tournament in the world, the IFA Shield, which shall be completing its 125th year very soon. One of our top clubs, Mohun Bagan, is more than a century old and is the oldest club in Asia. The Mohun Bagan-East Bengal Derby is one of the most exciting football derbies in the world. It’s got a great history, and even started before El Clasico came into existence. Don’t you think you should be a part of these traditions? Why waste time? Start following Indian football right away!
4) Stars In Your Reach
People in India are crazy about stars like David Beckham, Luis Figo or Zizou, among others. However, getting even an autograph of theirs is a near-impossible task. Meanwhile, Sunil Chhetri, Steven Dias, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and loads of other footy stars in India are waiting for you to approach them. So guys, start following them and you never know, they could even become your friends in the near future. Surely then, you will have something more to show off to your friends!
5) Duty & Responsibility
India is boasting about the rise of an educated youth. Today’s youth is socially proactive. Young Indians are never shy to raise their voice against corruption or pay respect to the National Anthem. So don’t you think it is more of a responsibility and a duty to pay attention to and care about what’s happening in the football arena in your country?
6) Enough Of Cricket
I’m sure that you hate news of Dhoni’s snazzy new car or Yuvraj singh’s alcoholic escapades in a public night club! Its high time that we switch from cricket to football. Cricket is not even an Olympic sport after all. There is lot more on offer for a football fan in India rather than watching silly cricket matches for 5 days at a stretch. It’s easy, too. Just as you switched from Orkut to Facebook, switching from cricket to football is even more simple!
7) Check It Out!
There is a phrase in Hindi, “Try karne mein kya hai?” That’s what I’m trying to say here. Just try supporting and following Indian football for at least a week or say for a month and then say how you feel about it. If it’s too boring, fair enough. You can then skip Indian football action for your entire lifetime. But don’t be surprised if it captures your heart, and I’ll take no credit at all!
8) Misconceptions To Be Cleared
There are many misconceptions regarding the world’s favourite sport in India. The most common notion people have is that it’s too boring! Believe me when I say that Indian Football is fun. We have one of the most exciting leagues in Asia. Even last season, the I-League had a dramatic end, where the league champions were decided in the last round of the league.
9) Be A True Football Fan
If you believe yourself to be a football fan then become a true football fan and follower. There is no room for partiality. In no way can you be partial and follow only European football. Follow football in India and try to find out on the reasons why we are lagging behind. Moreover, following football in India and gathering information about the game here will boost your general awareness which could even help you in your next competitive exams!
10) Indian Football Needs You
Indian football needs fans, more and more fans to discuss its little but significant success stories. Even minnows in the English football league have their set of dedicated fans so why can’t you be a fan of the football in your own country?
Rahul Sengupta (Goal.com)