Saturday, June 12, 2010

on 24 comments

Cricket leaves Football 'Offside'?

After Cricket T20 world up comes the Football one....
But only chronologically..Because popularity wise  football rules..!

 Nearly 200 countries avidly follow and practise this game unlike Cricket which is normally played in ex- British colonies in the Commonwealth realm..

For some, Football is a religion and the fans are known to be hysterically passionate bordering on violent where the fortunes of their home teams or clubs are concerned.

But in the scheme of things that the football body FIFA adopts, only 32 countries qualify for the world event once in 4 years...India isn't one of them, unfortunately...

 India has indisputably made its presence felt as a world cricketing major but never as a serious International contender in what the world also calls as Soccer.....

Many blame it as too much emphasis on  just Cricket, be it attention, coverage  or Corporate investment wise...It is said that no other game including Hockey once known as our National game have ever managed to raise the passions of Indian sports lovers like Cricket does...

But you see, that's the point... I started talking about football , didn't I,  and see where I ended up?

I vaguely remember following football in my childhood in Bangalore where I grew up when some B league tournaments were played out for free in Malleswaram grounds and there were some enthusiastic followers then too.Understanding the game , some even cheering one favorite team or the other...

Football bodies in India should have woken up then , back in the eighties when Cricket was enthroned as the undisputed monarch of public attention and love.

They should have taken the palpable popularity of some its well known teams like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Dempo etc to  its deserving heights and sought some corporate and media help to do their bit for this very exciting and popular game the world elsewhere follows...
If football fans in India feel they have been shortchanged as Cricket has usurped the pride of place, leaving no leeway for other games, they could be right, but they have woken up only too late...

All said and done, football festival has kicked off in South Africa now and promises to be as exciting as ever...

Let us hope due to some miracle the fever catches on here enough to do some favour to the floundering Indian football sometime sooner than later. And football bodies raise their pitch enough to succeed.  

They have been languishing in the 'offside' for long, so this should be their 'goal'…( pun intended!).



24 comments:

  1. We like to patronize a game in which we are the winning team.
    I guess that is the reason why we adore cricket.

    We figure nowhere in World football. So no one wants to patronize this game.

    It is indeed ironic. A game like football is one which ideally suits us. Nothing is needed except some open space, a good pair of shoes and a ball. Compared to cricket the equipment cost is nothing. Every Indian Village should have had a football ground to play.

    A poor country like ours should embrace this game and seek to improve standards and attempt to reach the club of 32 teams that compete for the World Cup.

    How come Football just did not catch on in India but cricket did?

    Arguing that cricket is a legacy from the British does not convince me. In fact Football is also popular in England and they are a world class team. If we are merely imitating the British, why did we choose to leave out Football while accepting Cricket?

    I refuse to believe that we just do not have it in us to make it into the select group of World Class football teams.

    When Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, and Nigeria can make it why not India?

    Hopefully some industrial house will patronize and encourage this sport and we will one day see India entering this select club.

    Perhaps another Lalit Mody will materialize one day and he will introduce something similar to an IPL tournament for football which will have 4 foreign players.
    A "catalyst" like this is needed. Once we become good at this game, popularity will follow. That will bring more money into the sport. That will ecncourage more talent. That will help improve standards and we will be able to finally join the elite 32.

    Any new thoughts from others?

    G Vishwanath
    Bangalore,
    Camp: Fremont, California, USA

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