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ISL 2018: Arrival of global stars has revamped the Indian Football profile, believes vice-president of AIFF

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2.56K   //    13 Jun 2018, 11:17 IST

Atletico De Kolkata (now ATK) players celebrate with the trophy after their victory over Kerala Blasters in the final match of ISL 2014
Atletico De Kolkata (now ATK) players celebrate with the trophy after their victory over Kerala Blasters in the final match of ISL 2014

What’s the story?

The Football Players Association of India (FPAI) Awards ceremony took place on June 12. Many notable personalities in the Indian football circuit were present, including vice-president of AIFF, Subrata Dutta. Dutta shared that the influx of global footballing icons had made the world take notice of Indian football and how it has impacted it for the better. 

In case you didn’t know…

Indian Super League (ISL) was conceptualized 4 years ago, and it made all the buzz with the involvement of Bollywood personalities, but more so because of the participation of legends like Roberto Carlos, Marco Materazzi, and Alessandro Del Piero, to name a few. 

These footballers have a tremendous fan following of their own and were the topmost players during the prime of their careers, even lifting the prestigious World Cup trophy. 

The heart of the matter

Dutta shared during the awards ceremony,“The ISL may be a new kid on the block but it has already made the world take notice of Indian football. The arrival of some of the biggest names of world football here, and featuring in the new league, has uplifted the profile of Indian football.”

Subrata also stressed the fact that he was a first-hand witness and felt the change in the attitude of foreigners when he attended forums in the nations abroad. People are not only aware of the ISL, they speak of it as well. 

“I’ve been associated with the AIFF since 2004. I was pretty much disappointed with the way things were being run during my initial years at the federation. We didn't have a dedicated office for the AIFF until Football House was set up in New Delhi in 2006. However, things have taken a turn for the better once IMG-Reliance joined the federation as its marketing partners. I must admit that this is the best thing to have happened in Indian football in the past decade," Dutta reveals the transformation, and how the system has become much better equipped and organized.

What’s next?

The little maestro, Sunil Chhetri, was named the 'Indian player of the year' during the awards, with two of his compatriots at Bengaluru also bagging the prestigious honours. 

Also read: FPAI awards 2018, Bengaluru FC sweep multiple honours

How do you feel Indian football has progressed over the years and what is it capable of in the future? Do share your opinion in the comments section below. 

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