Indian Super League
Current Senerio of Indian Football is at a Cross roads for very odd and different reasons. Everyone of the top hierarchy have one goal Improve the quality of Indian Football. Yet there has been alot of road blocks hindering that.
Gurprit Singh Sandhu is arguably the only Indian plying his trades abroad and recently created history as well by becoming the first Indian to qualify for the Europa League. Most Indians playing for the National Side play in the Domestic League and with the level of the Domestic League not really a success in terms of quality on the field as well financially.
AIFF have many a significant amount of changes though the entire system which have not really been favourable for alot of clubs which have played in the National League and forced them to shut shop which include the likes Mahindra United, Churchill Brothers, Mohamddam Sporting, JCT etc. Recently goan clubs with so much history have also decided to exit the I-League which surely raised alot of eye brows.
Goan clubs have been the most consistent In terms of number of teams from the state in the I League and National Football League started in 1996. Goan clubs combined have won more titles than all teams from other states put together. This clearly shows the importance of clubs like Dempo, Sporting Club and Salgaocar FC are to the growth of Indian Football.
Indian Super League, Premier Futsal ,I-League are surely attracting alot of interest from all over the world but with no Fixed blueprint in place , Indian Football is surely running on Trial and Error and even Top Management don’t seem to know which way is the right way.
From a Personal Point of view the level of Football played in Goa at the Local Level can be surely compared to the I League. Playing any local Inter Village match as it’s called in Goa can give a hint of Talent in abundance Goa has to offer to Indian Football. North East too have a really strong football background and not to forget Bangalore.
With India set to host the U-17 World Cup, there is sense of excitement, but at the same time with the revamped National League , Improvement of Infrastructure still at a low. One doesn’t know what lies ahead of Indian Football. Grassroots have been given alot of emphasis right after the Indian Super League was started. Lack of Stadiums in Metro cities and lack of open spaces to build new ones are a major concern.
Practice Makes Perfect
A-League in Australia took nearly a decade to get where they are at the moment and so did the Major League Soccer – MLS but right now it has surely done things right which their respective National Teams are benefiting from. United States are currently playing in the Copa America Centeniro and have been playing attractive football thanks to their German Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
I-League a Victim ?
AIFF have surely done things right as well wrong. Firstly they have certainly enforced the proposal of the new format of the ISL on all I League clubs, this can be evident with Pune FC and Bharat FC shuting shop last year even 2014-15 I League runner-up Royal Wahingdoh have shut down due to these so called Guidelines to improve Indian Football. The new rules favour all the ISL teams and have not been made keeping in mind with the I-League counter part even after FIFA made it clearly I League would be the Numero Uno League in the Country.
Breeze Surrounding the New Dawn for Football in India
The New format is certainly favourable to the ISL’s existing teams with no Relegation for the first 10 years. Taking Indian Football ahead at the expense of demoting the I League is surely not the best of decisions and in my opinion not on level playing field for the clubs.
Politics has been and always be there in any sport for that matter in India. The dominance of politics is hindering the growth and development of Football in India. Fortune favours the Brave and yet this fight isn’t over. The outcome of the revamped League will be interesting to see. AIFF will have to answer alot of questions which have been flooding alot if Newspaper’s lately.
Current senerio of Indian football doesn’t seem to have an silver lining as yet. AIFF needs to step up and address the issues at hand rather than denying the allegations and go into hiding. Only time will tell how Indian Football will develope.
Winds Of Change has finally arrived in India……
India a country where Cricket is has been the leading sport for a long time even though Hockey is the national sport and where Football is nowhere even close to either of them. The Land where Sachin Tendulkar is worshiped as God, where Cricket has been on top with the worlds best as well as Hockey which gave some great moments, but Football hasn’t managed to captivate alot of golden moments like the World Cup win in Cricket or the Olympic Golds in Hockey under The Great Dhyand Chand
ISL making small steps towards building a greater future for Football in India
India may have one of the oldest cup tournaments in the world in the form of the Rover Cup but that has not done any good for the progress made for football in India. Even though in the last decade there has been a large amount revenue from Television and Sponsorship coming from Asia and India playing a large role in that.
The first 27 matches were watched by a total 34.65 million viewers on the Sony Six network, compared with 44.9 million viewers for the entire 2010 World Cup.
These Stats can be alarming considering the sudden rise of in terms of Viewership and Revenue that has been generated from India during the World Cup.
The Indian Super League or the ISL which is going be functioning the same way the A- League and MLS. A total of 8 Teams which are Franchisee owned and name after Major Tier 1 Cities. The Response the ISL has got so far has been astounding with alot of Football Legends signing up.Mumbai City Fc have managed to accquire the services of Nicholas Anelka, Freddie Lunjberg and most notebly Manuel Friedrich who was a part of the Borussia Dortmund Team for the 2013-14 Season. Raul Garcia has signed for Atletico De Kolkata after a colaboration with Spanish Giants Atletico Madrid.Italy’s World cupper Del Piero has signed for Delhi etc.
This is the magnitude at which the Newly formed ISL league will be and this is a delight for the Indian fans to finally get a glimpse of what Football at the top level is.
List of Players which have Joined the ISL
Atletico de Kolkata: Marquee Player- Luis Garcia
- Apoula Edel – Armenia – Goalkeeper
- Sylvain Monsoreau – France – Defender
- Jose Miguel – Spain – Defender
- Borja Fernandez – Spain – Midfielder
- Jofre Gonzalez – Spain – Midfielder
- Jakub Podany – Czech Republic – Midfielder
- Arnal Llibert – Spain – Forward
Team Chennai: Marquee Player- TBD
- Gennaro Bracigliano – France – Goalkeeper
- Bernard Mendy – France – Defender
- Jairo Carvajal – Colombia – Defender
- Cristian Gonzalez – Spain – Midfielder
- Bojan Djorjic – Sweden – Midfielder
- Bruno Pelissari – Brazil – Midfielder
- Eduardo Silva – Spain – Striker
Delhi Dynamos FC: Marquee Player – Alessandro Del Piero
- Marek Cech – Czech Republic – Goalkeeper
- Henrique Dinis Oliveira Dias – Portugal – Defender
- Bruno Herrero – Spain – Midfielder
- Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos – Brazil – Midfielder
- Pavel Elias – Czech Republic – Midfielder
- Mads Junker – Denmark – Forward
- Morten Skoubo – Denmark – Forward
Team Goa: Marquee Player- TBD
- Jan Seda – Czech Republic – Goalkeeper
- Gregory Arnolin – France – Defender
- Youness Bengelloun – France – Defender
- Bruno Filipe Tavares Pinheiro – Portugal – Midfielder
- Miguel Bruno Pereira Herlein – Portugal – Forward
- Edgar Carvalho Figueira Marcelino – Portugal – Forward
- Miroslav Slepicka – Czech Republic – Forward
Kerala Blasters FC: Marquee Player- David James
- Cedric Hengbart – France – Defender
- Raphael Romey – France – Defender
- Erwin Spitzner – Brazil – Defender
- Victor Herrero Forcada – Spain – Midfielder
- Michael Chopra – England – Forward
- Iain Hume – Canada – Forward
- Pedro Adriano Veloso Gusmao – Brazil – Forward
Mumbai City FC: Marquee Player- Nicolas Anelka
- Andre Matos Dias Pereira – Portugal – Goalkeeper
- Pavel Cmovs – Czech Republic – Defender
- Johann Letzelter – France – Defender
- Ilias Pollalis – Greece – Defender
- Jan Stohanzl – Czech Republic – Midfielder
- Francisco Javier Fernandez Luque – Spain – Midfielder
- Diego Fernando Nadaya – Argentina – Forward
North East United FC: Marquee Player- Jaon Capdevilla
- Massamba Lo Sambou – Senegal – Defender
- Tomas Josl – Czech Republic – Defender
- Isaac Chansa – Zambia – Midfielder
- Do Dong-Hyun – South Korea – Midfielder
- Guilherme Felipe de Castro – Brazil – Midfielder
- Cornell Glen – Trinidad and Tobago – Forward
- Luis Alfredo Yanes Padilla – Colombia – Forward
FC Pune City: Marquee Player- David Trezeguet
- Bruno Cirillo – Italy – Defender
- Emanuele Belardi – Italy – Goalkeeper
- Ivan Bolado Palacios – Spain – Forward
- Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri – Burkina Faso – Midfielder
- Omar Andres Rodriguez Martinez – Colombia – Midfielder
- Andres Felipe Gonzalez Ramirez – Colombia – Defender
- Park Kwang-IL – South Korea – Midfielder
Will the Indian Super league bring long term success and longevity to Football in India only time will tell.