Indian sports have always been dominated by cricket. But, in the past few years, we have witnessed a significant rise in other sports as well. Football is one such sport which has been growing on a phenomenal rate.
Talking about 2017, it has been a spectacular year for football in India with the national team going on to qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup. Not just this, India successfully hosted the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. The performance of the Under-17 Indian team has also been incredible. Jeakson Singh scored India’s first ever goal in any form of a World Cup when he headed in against Colombia in the second group match.
The meteoric rise of the sport can be seen clearly through the record attendances for the Under-17 tournament and the ongoing Indian Super League. Both the events have emerged as highly successful tournaments that the country has hosted in the past years.
Earlier football fans in India looked up to players of legendary stature like Pele and Maradona. Now, they look up to spectacular Indian players like Sunil Chhetri, Bhaichung Bhutia, Subrata Pal, Laxmikant Kattimani, Pratesh Shirodkar and Kean Lewis. Now more people are turning up as spectators which is a big boost for the players. Youngsters are now thinking of football in terms of a full-fledged career. They see hope associated with the game. These signs are great for the future of football in India.
The Indian Super League needs a special mention for raising the bar of Football in India. It is producing a large pool of talented Indian players and ‘heroes’ to play for the Indian national team.
It has emerged as a highly entertaining and high quality league that engages millions of fans, drives improvement in playing standards and delivers impeccable quality football with some of the best Indian and foreign players. FC Goa and Delhi Dynamos have shown incredible performances that are at par with international standards.
The event is playing a crucial role in making India a global football power. It has presented international quality competition engaging millions of passionate and proud Indian fans.
Going by the current scenario, Indian football is on the right path in it’s progression and there is so much more that it will accomplish in the days to come!