It is no secret that India’s performance in football is below par, especially in comparison with countries which are better equipped. Be it playing on FIFA match days, training facilities, equipment or an established league – India is no where close to even Asian powerhouses like Japan, South Korea and Iran, leave along even competing with European nations. When comparisons are drawn with these nations, definitely Indian football looks in a pretty bad shape to say the least.
However, if we compare the same Indian team to its own past, then the future of Indian football looks promising. The Indian team in 2010 lost more than half the games they played in and that too with huge margins.
But, now things are slightly different for the better. India is playing regular football, however they still need to learn the art of stringing a series of wins, but rather surely diminishing the misfortunes and in many occasions managing to win.
To convert lost opportunities, Indian football needs some time, but when that time will arrive the Blue Tigers will not have their current stalwarts leading them, as a new generation of players will be the face of the nation.
Indian football team have qualified for the FIFA World Cup
Indian football team has had a poor show at the FIFA events since their disqualification from the 1950 World Cup, such that the country never even came close to the thought of qualifying again.
However, that has changed as well, the Blue Tigers are not just considering World Cup qualification, they are as well living up to the expectations towards accomplishing it. Furthermore, this may come as a shocker that India has officially met all the requirements for the FIFA World Cup at the Under 17 level as hosts of the competition in 2017.
Clearly this is just a beginning towards developing a football mentality in India, and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) ought to leave no stone unturned to encourage the players for their preparation.
In a bid for training, AIFF plans to select 60 players for a special training camp ahead of the World Cup in India furthermore an Under-15 league was declared in the states which are provisional venues for the U-17 World Cup as a pilot project to find the best possible team for the 2017 edition. However, AIFF would want to continue with the league for the development of grassroots football in the country rather than using it just for a short-term benefit.
Apart from finding the best possible team, the U-15 League will also provide experience and exposure that will be crucial during the major event. Another major benefit that the Indian team would gain from these leagues is the home-ground advantage, which will be crucial during the big tournament.
India’s football future will depend on the performance of the U-17 team in 2017 World Cup as a number of these players will eventually make it to the senior squad. It could be as soon as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and turn into the pillars of support for the Indian football team.
India’s backbone in football has more often than not has been on the shoulders of people like Bhaichung Bhutia and Sunil Chhetri, however another sole individual won’t have the capacity to accomplish what the nation dreams.
An entire era of players needs to turn into the pillar of support to lead the country forward as football is a team sport and not an individual show.