indian subcontinet

Discussion in 'Asian Football Confederation' started by napolisoccer, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. napolisoccer

    napolisoccer Member

    NYCFC - Napoli
    Feb 20, 2005
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Does it can the football became the most important sport in the indian subcontinent and exceed the cricket?
  2. Kaushik

    Kaushik Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    No, not for a long while...just as football would not be dominant in N. America
  3. Nepal Footy

    Nepal Footy New Member

    Feb 8, 1999
    Absolutely it can. In the USA people hate/bash soccer. You don't find that in South Asia. Most people love the game and are extremely frustrated that the level of play is so poor.

    When the World Cup/ Euro Championships come around the subcontinent goes wild. Also you have many fans that follow the Euro leagues very closely. For example, everyone in Nepal that is a sports fan knows about Chelsea/Abromovich, Real Madrid and their galaxy of stars, the Liverpool - AC Milan game, etc.

    I remember reading a news story about villagers in a small Bangladeshi town throwing stones at their local electricity office because the power went out during the World Cup. You get a ton of those types of stories all across South Asia during World Cup time.

    The problem in South Asia is that the leagues are poorly run and the national teams stink. Despite that, football still gets strong press coverage in the subcontinent and is wildly popular in various pockets. In Nepal football is the most popular sport by a mile. It gets more media coverage and sponsorship dollars than any other sport. Same goes for Bhutan and Maldives.

    In Bangladesh football used to be the most popular sport, but now that they are a test playing cricket nation, cricket is number one there. After Sri Lanka won the cricket world cup, soccer became a distant second, though it used to rival cricket in popularity.

    In India the Calcutta derby between Mohan Bagan and East Bengal draws over 100,000 fans (no hyperbole). Calcutta, Goa and South West India are all hotbeds of soccer.

    If India/Pakistan/Bangladesh were to only become a consistant top 50 side (meaning having a realistic shot at making the World Cup every four years) football would overtake cricket as the number one sport.

    One thing that is universal is that people like winners. Right now Cricket is a winning sport in South Asia thus the popularity. It's the same with Rugby in New Zealand and Australia, Hockey in Canada, baseball in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
  4. murlikt

    murlikt New Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    Yes football can be no.1 in India but still much work is needed. Like nepal footy says it is very strong some areas of the nation but for everyone to follow football, 1) League must be more professional, low salary and no security for income 2) National team must do well because these players can become heroes for young players 3) Must bring more money in game to attract fans from marketing, TV, etc. 4) AIFF must become professional less corruption, now the president himself is a politicion and is working this job part-time. He has been president for like 20 years and the elections are rigged.

    I hope in the future there will be a league including clubs from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc. This will be like a top league with relegation and home/away. This will need money but it will help small countries like Nepal and SriLanka. What do you think Nepal footy?
  5. climax

    climax New Member

    Jul 13, 2004
    Kolkata, Montreal
    Agree that it is possible. However, resources need to be moved from Cricket to Football and better football administrators are required. Then success will come. But is that likely?
  6. Nepal Footy

    Nepal Footy New Member

    Feb 8, 1999
    I think India is such a big country that a league really has no room for clubs from Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc. Cities like Lucknow and Gorakhpur are larger than Kathmandu or Colombo. The AIFF would be wise to develop clubs in those types of cities instead of inviting foreign clubs. One thing that might work though is starting a South Asian Club Championship.
  7. Nepal Footy

    Nepal Footy New Member

    Feb 8, 1999
    I believe so. The AIFF will be starting a pro league in the next two years, that will really speed-up development of Indian football.

    Also, India is such a massive country with a booming economy that soon you will see lots of investments from the private sector in sports.
  8. DCSharksFC

    DCSharksFC Member

    Feb 28, 2003
    Virginia Tech
    people in india do like winners

    poor mismanagement and corruption are keeping soccer/football from doing overtaking cricket

    i would say soccer is just as popular in the USA then it is in india, maybe even more and we have to contend with american football and baseball

    that said, india/subcontinent needs to improve play and branch out from the soccer hotbeds like goa and bengal, by doing so, it'll make the national team better, and thus excite the fans and get them out of hiding to make the sport more popular, its working in the USA, and it CAN work in india/subcontinent
  9. murlikt

    murlikt New Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    You are right, India is too big plus needs to be developed before bring foreign teams. Abt the South Asia club cup well I think it is a good idea but im not sure there will be sponsors, money, etc because even I dont know the standard of the clubs, I know Bangladesh clubs are strong but not sure abt the rest. I guess they can start it small then when standard goes up from all teams it will be a huge thing.

    In my opinion the SAFF cup which is between national teams should be played evry 2 years because our national teams dont play enough games and our ranking is suffering
  10. Nepal Footy

    Nepal Footy New Member

    Feb 8, 1999
    Are you talking about being a fan or participation?

    If you mean being a soccer fan then I totally disagreee. A typical Indian sports fan from a middle class background (opposed to the millions that live in poverty) would know the basics of world football - like who Ronaldinho is, top clubs in the EPL, etc. You don't get that in the USA. 90% of American sports fans are oblivious to world soccer. They might have heard the names Beckham, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Pele, but that's about it.

    When big soccer games are on, most Indian sport fans will be tuning in.

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