ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

ISL: Tough For Football to survive in India

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Hero_Indian_Super_LeagueThis weekend I went to ISL Football match between Mumbai and Goa. I have witnessed a good number of IPL cricket matches at DY Patil Stadium in the past; hence the place was not new to me. The atmosphere was starkly different from IPL. Easy parking, no traffic jam and hassle free entry. The entry was made free for everyone by the time the match started.

The point that I want to discuss is why football is not popular in India and why it is difficult to get people interested to come to stadium. Let’s contrast it with cricket. The earliest memories of cricket we have are playing in the backyard with siblings, friends. How we remember stopping near a ground where people happened to be playing cricket; soaking in any and every bit of action. We have been brought up viewing/playing cricket on ground. Out visual impulses are used to watching cricket; basically we are able to make out what is happening in stadium and hence enjoy it.

Football is different. The earliest memories of football are seeing on TV. The high octane clashes in European countries. Also only people who got used to good football were people who had cable TV connection. We didn’t grow up seeing football in stadium. Hence it becomes difficult for us to comprehend it on ground. For those who have seen cricket in stadium would understand what I am talking about. Experience is totally different from TV. Majority of us won’t enjoy football in stadium for that very reason. We started up with football in TV and that’s what we understand.

The major issue is lack of quality. Substandard quality of players in ISL makes the watch painful. After watching EPL, CL on TV, it’s not possible to enjoy ISL matches. Imagine watching Zimbabwe/Afghanistan cricket match in stadium. Would you enjoy it? ISL is not even that. It’s as bad as a cricket match between Division C/D countries.

All the interest in ISL is due to the owners Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly etc. These were people who invested here as they lost out on IPL teams earlier. Their interest was to own a sports team rather than Football. Football is not the selling point yet. And going by the weekend Mumbai vs Goa match, where people were more engulfed in selfies, food than football, it’s hard to see the interest growing.

Written by arpitgarg

October 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

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