India, Football & Future: How Football has grown in the sub-continent
India, a country where cricket is a religion, is witnessing a very healthy invasion from the West again. The most popular sport of the planet is taking over slowly. The country is witnessing a drastic change and growth in terms of Business, Technology, Infrastructure and Sports.
We have seen the dominance of Indian fans in recent times whether it is hosting the U-17 World Cup to the frequent visits of Maradona & Pele. Nowadays. all the major EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga clubs wish on the festivals to Indian in Hindi. Last year, El Clasico, the most influential Sporting festival shifts its timings according to the Indian audience.
On the same lines, the rise of football gave birth to leagues like ISL, I-league, etc. Corporate like HERO, TATA, Reliance, Muthoot, JSW and others shifted their focus from Cricket to football.
Apart from this, Reliance, TATA, JSW, etc. have their own short-term and long-term plans of expanding football as it is also a very filtered marketing tool for the companies. The kind of money involved in Football makes every other game look cute.
Top agents in football make more money than Top athletes in Cricket, and ROI is huge for the corporate. We have seen the difference in the financials involved in Football competition and other competitions, take an example of FIFA world cup and ICC World Cup.
Also, the grassroots programme of the some of the best clubs like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and others for increasing their number of academies in India because of the craziness and love we have for this beautiful game. Former FIFA president once called India the ‘Sleeping Giant’ of World Football.
All this being said and done, it caught the eye of Christine Kelly, Founder of Little Kickers, the world's largest pre-grassroots football program which focuses on cognitive learning through football.
From professional to grassroots & even pre-grassroots, football is on a high-rise and about to explode in India. Christine is visiting India in November to expand Little Kickers in Indian geography as she felt the huge potential football has as a business.
A 360-degree change is happening around football, hopefully, we’ll see India in FIFA World Cup in the next decade. Let me know what you think about this?Published 25 Oct 2018, 15:46 IST