Saturday, October 11, 2014

With Much Hope, ISL

The Indian Super League, an IPL-style football league (which itself is a derivative of the globally popular EPL) is soon to roll out, with the guarantee of great entertainment and the hope of making a difference to Indian football, which has been in the doldrums almost since Independence. With ISL, the biggest change will be the induction of almost limitless money and star power to a sport that is otherwise underfunded by hugely popular in India, particularly in Kerala, Bengal and the Northeast.

There are a variety of teams playing in this inaugural edition, with Hero Motorcorp. and Reliance footing the big bills. Several Indian and foreign players have been picked up by the franchises, many of which are owned by Bollywood stars. Of course, this will bring more eyeballs to the event, but it remains to be seen whether they will overshadow the sport itself, as they have done in IPL.

Nonetheless, the state of Indian football is such that there is a crying need for better facilities and a platform for fresh talent. The Government, unsurprisingly, has failed to provide this. Perhaps ISL will.

PS: I'm not a fan of predictions, but I think Northeast United will win this edition. They literally are the Indian national football team! 

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