Can India ever qualify for the FIFA World Cup ?
· U-19 world cup will be hosted by India.
· Football is India’s 2nd most popular sport, next to the game of cricket.
· Indian Super League opens up the opportunity to Indian player to play with some of international prime players and get to know about the professional international football touch.
By Indranil Sinha: Football is the king of all game, it has power, passion, intelligence, teamwork, principle, loyality, rivalry, intense moments, and it has all. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world’s most popular sport. In India this sport is the 2nd most popular sport with a history of being selected for the 1950 world cup, but lack of ambition, less foreign exchange meant that the team never made it to Brazil. A country with population close to 133 crores never made to any Fifa world cup after that. Painful to believe that as an Indian where many small countries like Iceland, Wales not even qualify for world cup also shined to their own standards, India always struggled to match international standards. Having great tradition of big clubs like East Bengal, Mohun Bagan where fans are passionate like anything barely made it to the qualifiers whenever it’s come to the international stage.
World football governing body FIFA have made some inspections in previous years and certainly not impressed by Indian standard of football , noticed India has far behind the ranks of international standard, although Indian football governing body AIFF made some proposal to them for culmination of Indian football to see if Indian players can hone up their skills and FIFA accepted that in spite of knowing that if India can at least participate well then it’s only for the betterment of this great sport and promotes FIFA’s activity too.
For that reason, when AIFF bids for Fifa’s U-19 world cup, panel committee gave India the nod ahead of other bidding countries. That’s a great chapter for Indian football, especially for youngsters who can be the shining armor of Indian Football and a golden chance to be part of international football.
If we keep that chance aside and dig deep inside in Indian football academy then some changes in structure of academy and footballing standards that can have great impact on this great nation.
Here are 10 compact solutions if India ever wants to be a part of International Stage:
- Restructure AIFF’s mindset — All India Football Federation (AIFF) is the governing body in India that basically manages the game of association football in India. So as they are in charge of this sport, first and foremost thing is to change their view to a wider aspect, go global and help India’s grass root level of players. They can attract more sponsors, find good academic coaches, send young players to foreign academy on a routine basis etc. If they can believe that India can achieve international ground in football then they have to think towards it and believe that India can.
- Set up Indian Football Academy like MRF pace academy — MRF pace academy is one of world’s prime academy that can attract good cricketers and coaches for their tips , coaching material , tactics ,those can have the influence over teen cricketers, helping them dream big . Similarly, AIFF can set up a brand new football academy where everything, from coaches to football pitch should be on international standard, no compromises on upbringing teen players.
- Recruit Experience Scout to find raw talents – All great football playing nations like Brazil,Germany,France,England etc. use good scouts to find natural talent and help those talent nourished and grow up big ,similarly we can use those model to find some raw talents from different parts of this big nation. Many talents just leave football as they never find good opportunity to shine and especially a large nation like India where most attractions on Cricket and football always been the second option for everyone, be it people like us,sponsors,media Good scouts can fill up the void and can find promising talents that can change Indian football scenario, nobody knows!!
- Attract good sponsors – India has some sponsors who can promote this great sport at its level best because football leagues like i-league, Santosh trophy, Durand cup needs some serious attention. We found many stadiums blank during league match, or cup match. Unless it’s a match between East Bengal vs. Mohun Bagan or any cup semi-final or final, common people never comes to ground. If sponsor like star, sahara,reliance came into this then that will only creates good environment and people will be more interested as we believe passionate home football competition only delivers quality football , skillful football that attracts more and more people.
- Bring more good players to ISL — Indian Super League is football edition of Indian Premier League that follows similar model and structures and attract international superstars to play in that league. If we find more superstars then it’s not only do better for the football fans in India also great for Indian players too. They can learn from them, their attitude towards the game, shaping up and bring professionalism to football. Like china’s super league attracts many great talents like Brazilian Hulk we can also attract many top talents and that can only do well to football.
- Short formats also can help football – Like Futsal happened in India last month and players like Ronaldinho, Giggs, Crespo came , that’s a great news for whole Indian football scenario too as these are legends of football and young generations of India are well aware of them , so they were excited and went to stadium often and helped this nation to acquire some good thoughts about how can short formats also help the king of sport.
- Create a pool of coaches and experienced players – Many good veteran football players are there in India like Chuni Goswami, Baichung Bhutia, I M Vijayan etc, who can give good football lessons to kids, train them and make them sharp. That will be icing on the cake if we find some good academic coaches from around the world who already have vast experience in finding good talents and mixed up them with our Indian football minds to set up a pool that will constantly watching promising players development , nurture them and creates a positive environment.
- Play Friendly often with other nations – The most important of these all is to play as much as friendly with other footballing nations and if possible with good footballing nations too. That can only do great with Indian national football team and they can realize where they are in terms of skills, football mindset, tactics, formations, playing combinations etc. Overall it will be a wake-up call every time we play and a good chance to solve our errors, playing formations.
- Country and club should unite for better cause – Indian domestic football clubs should unite with nation whenever it’s on demand. In terms of player fitness, physio and cardio level, shaping him up all will be dependent on clubs as player always play for clubs more than country but when nation needs him that time club have to be unite together.
- Add more glamour to this greatest sport — Sport like football demands attention to detail and adding glamour to football only capture investors throughout the world and might change Indian football scenario like ISL.
Written By Mr. Indranil Sinha