fertile land

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Jan 2018 12:30:12

THE manner in which interest in the game of soccer is growing in the country, foreign football promoters see in India “a land of opportunity.” The Indian Super League (ISL), which has become a regular feature of the nation’s football calendar for the last few years, is certainly contributing to the growing interest among fans as well as emerging soccer players in the country. It is the popularity of the ISL tournament that seems to have caught the imagination of foreign promoters who see great opportunity to promote the game in India. 

Latest to join the foreign admirers of the fertile ground that India promises for promotion of football is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the prestigious Manchester City FC Mr. Ferran Soriano who has described India as a “land of opportunity” for promoting soccer and is keen on tapping into the growing ‘football market.’ Mr. Soriano, a very experienced football authority, and who is also the CEO of the City Football Group, the owners of six football clubs across continents, appears to be impressed with the popularity of the Indian Super League and the local talent that is showing up through this premier tournament in the country, having seen live action in the ISL.

He is optimistic about the growth prospects in the country as there is talent and passion for the game. In fact Mr. Soriano appears to have come on a probing mission to see for himself the talent available and the response from the fans and what he has seen during his presence in some of the matches in the ISL, he appears to be impressed. That foreign experts are showing interest in the development of football in the country would auger well for the development of the game.

If foreign clubs really set sights on the development of football in India they will bring with them vast experience, talent, expert coaches, management techniques and development of the game at the grassroots level and tap the available talent at the early stage of their careers. Besides building a culture for football, such a development would help raise the national side that would represent India at prestigious international events like the World Cup, where India’s absence currently badly hurts.

After cricket, football definitely is on the radar of the young people who are showing interest in the game. The holding of the junior soccer World Cup late last year was the only major international soccer event held on Indian soil in many years. It did stir positive imaginations in the minds of fans. Such events are very necessary to build the tempo. The ISL possibly could be trigger for growing interest of the population in the game which would be necessary both for finding talent as well as supporting the promotion of the game.