Continuing from my previous response as to what is missing in Indian football with regards to World Cup participation and success?
What we 'lack' in terms of Indian Football is
1.Time: Some members might laugh but I seriously believe, Indian football is way behind with regards to the competition and quality that is needed to be in the top gobal event.
We are way behind literally in everything.
2.Public Passion and participation: Barring a few pockets of people who love football, the game does not draw huge crowds, the fanfare and the infectious enthusiasm is not
there. For instance, just consider the one day matches in cricket of a home series, people are glued to there screens, follow the scores and progress closely, the players enjoy celebrity status and beyond where ever they go.
3. Popularity at grassroot level: If you look around in the neighborhoods, street bylanes, playgrounds, you are most likely to see multiple groups of children playing cricket. Go on a Sunday to the nearby field or playgrounds, the odds are that, it would be full of kids, teens and local gangs playing serious cricket with prize money, basic kit and umpires. In the Latin American countries, often you hear about barefoot football kids who have exceptional dribbling and passing skills, these youngsters take to football as we have done with cricket.
3.Education institutions: Children of various socio-economic status spend most of their formative years in schools, colleges and again here football is way behing cricket,
hockey or badminton.
4.Home grown talent: When we open the newspapers, we are bound to hear about young talented kids scoring 200 or 300 runs or taking more than 5 wickets in local cricket and similar stories of budding players. The same does not happen with football. Only when we have a regular supply of home grown talent to the extent that they can form local teams of the locality can we have develop a good pool of players from whom we can have a formidable national team.
5.Infrastructure: India lacks good infrastructure except selected places, if a sport has to flourish, it needs good venues spread out and accessible to our huge population free of cost or for a nominal amount so that parents would be encouraged to send children to build up on their game skills. The infrastructure is a lot more that good venues, grass playgrounds etc.
6. Coaching and mentorship. If you google for getting support to learn the game of cricket vs football, you would be more successful in getting good centers for cricket on an average than football.
7. Government policies and commitment: Although not strictly the highest government authority, we have the all powerful BCCI, state cricket boards, IPL boards who have such clout that they have a big say in International cricket, this plays a crucial role in getting publicity, attract tournament franchise, a wide range of opportunities for international exposure etc. This lacks in football and it is one of the key behind the scenes factors for the slow rise of football.
8.Money making ventures: Today, most sports are entwined with glamour and staggering amounts of money. Money for everyone, the players, the managers, the stadium, the small industries depending on the sport, telecasting companies, advertisement firms. If you look at IPL, we have all the above, it is as if IPL itself in a life line to many individuals. Such commanding interest in football is lacking.
Apart from this, there are some unique features that are vital to be on the top in football. I will touch upon them in my next post.