Development of football in India

General Discussion on Indian Football.

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rana_bosu
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Development of football in India

Postby rana_bosu » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:48 pm

Successful football leagues and quality players go hand in hand. This rule is universal throughout the world. If a national league is successful, it will, in turn produce quality players. On the other hand, if there are quite a number of quality players in a league, the standard of the games should consequently improve.

The above statement logically brings up the question whether bringing in international players or creating quality in domestic players? To bring in players of reasonable good quality at the start is not that difficult if the Clubs have plenty of money to spare. This sadly is not the case in the context of the Indian scenario. International players help in improving the standard of the league as homegrown players get to play with tougher opponents and different styles of football on a regular basis. This helps them to improve their game and better preparing them for bigger games. But as a matter of fact, the exposures to playing with and against quality international players do not always work out to one’s benefit, as the exposure is limited to players who are already playing in the I-league. This does not help in grooming up the youth, which is the real future of India.

So how do we develop quality in Indian players? Talent is something that is God gifted whereas skill is something that has to be groomed. Gifted players are plenty in India but this raw talent fades out with time and eventually goes unnoticed either because these players themselves did not realize their potential or there were none to spot their talent. Such players are there all around India - some of them already having the quality in them where as some others could possibly be the raw material that any coach would love to have. So the real task here is to tap the potential.

Therefore, how does one get the quality players or the raw materials? This according to the soccer pundits is what really needs to evolve in India. There should be more number of football academies and regular scouting campaigns. Unfortunately and more often than not, the job of scouting or selection is done by the State Football Associations, which woefully lack honest and sincere spotters. What actually happens now is that, these spotting campaigns are done in selective town and often go unheralded. No soul in a state comes to know as there is no publicity made about these events. Talent scouting has to be more widespread and need to done religiously. Every aspiring kid in a state should be made aware of these camps and this will help in multiple ways. First of all, it will increase the popularity of the game among children. Secondly, for a change it will start sending a positive message to the youth that the Academy is making space for real talent and not for friends, relatives and the children of the rich and famous. Having seen the game played in Bengal, I have realized that the best of the football talents do not study in big schools nor do their parents work in big corporate houses. The talent is usually nested in some small village or town and remain untapped as none of the scouts ever saw them playing.

The above scenario I believe is prevalent throughout the country. There is no shortage of talented footballers in this country. Some of the fortunate ones go to school as every kid aspires to become a doctor or engineer or at least get into a 10 to 5 job. The others who are the less fortunate ones direct their future towards manual labour to meet their livelihood. If we can tap this talent, which is out there, that will the first major step in the right direction of improving Indian Soccer.

But then how do we motivate these children to take it as a serious profession? Well, there should be football academies set up of a different kind. Not the ones where only football is the focus. Indian parents are so particular about their child’s education that it will be a non-starter even for a child who shows an inclination towards an academy, which concentrates only on Football. It is a fact that we cannot convince or change their perspective in a day. The academy should be setup in such a way that not only football is focused but equal importance is given to the child’s education as well. This way, the parents will no longer hesitate in sending their children to these academies once they realize that the education of their children are not affected and that their children have been scouted for their potential as someone sees promise in them.

How and who can set up these football academies? My feeling is that any one or a group of individuals with the right combination of Passion, Money, Knowledge and Vision, can set up an academy. There are lot of people in India who have the knowledge and passion for the game of football. The missing part is the Vision (which a handful might still possibly have but again it dies within them as they do not know how to make their plans materialize). Money is no more a constraint, as there are so many corporate houses in India plush with funds. It is just a matter of convincing them to route their money into this beautiful game of football. The Government, both at the Center and at the States must have a proper sports policy in place for the above to effectively take shape. Tax relief for expenses incurred for running these academies could be a starting allurement for things to take shape.

What India really needs to learn from its past is that one or two popular soccer faces will not help turn the future of Indian soccer. What the country’s football scenario now needs is a generation of soccer stars. We do have a Bhaichung Bhutia at this point but the sad part is that it has been only him for the last decade or so. The golden generation of Indian soccer still remains when the likes of Chuni Goswami, P. K. Bannerjee, Peter Thangaraj, Jarnail Singh, Yusuf Khan, Inder Singh, just to name a few were there to play but ever since then the flow has dried up. This has to change and we need to plan for a continuous supply of talented greats. For this to happen, proper emphasis needs to be given towards age group coaching and tournament play.

On the whole, a start is needed right at the grass root level. A new generation of U-12, U-15 and U-19 footballers needs to be spotted. The process of scouting entrusted with the knowledgeable and academies set up with good coaches to impart scientific and state-of-the-art training to these boys. In India, we do have Sports schools, but usually those who enroll are usually from the low-income background. This has to change drastically. There is talent in the middle-income and high-income categories. If we have to see India improve its FIFA ranking in the next decade or so, we should start right away and tap talent from all levels and impart quality coaching in these academies.

Football should no longer be considered as one of those exercises during the recess periods in school, but as a sport in which the country once excelled and which could and should be revived to its pristine glory.

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Re: Development of football in India

Postby kujo » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:00 pm

well, you do realise the enormous amount of resources involved in what you are proposing here right??

Yours is a bottom-up approach. Jay (jayakris) has advocated a top-down approach in another football thread. Personally, I prefer the later due to the simple fact that it is possible to get it going in a short period of time...

cheers
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Re: Development of football in India

Postby soccerfan » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:30 pm

I am an optimist, but I will contradict myself by saying that there is no future for Indian football at the global level.
We will continue to languish at the bottom of the ladder--the way we are now-- for many many more years to come or for eternity.
I hope I will be proved wrong. Amen.

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Re: Development of football in India

Postby soccerphase » Tue May 25, 2010 9:11 am

i think courption is the main problem in the india and second most problem is stamina in our indian player
thanks

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Re: ASIAN GAMES 2010 nov 12th to 27

Postby jayakris » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:09 am

This post was moved from the Asiad thread where it was posted in response to what arjun said about Indian u23's Asiad loss to Qatar - and the below quote continued as, "For a sport that is as popular as football is in India, we should be able to identify enough talent to beat such dysfunctional countries (such as Kuwait and Qatar) even with our typical unprofessional approach to sports preparation. After all, we can beat these countries in virtually all the other sports (including relatively expensive sports like tennis, for example), so the ineptitude of our football team is hard to explain" ... Mod, Jay
arjun2761 wrote:ineptitude of our football team is hard to explain

I am not sure of that. Number of football fields and even just open spaces used for football (per capita, or per land-area) in India is really really low. It may be one of the worst in the world. I don't think Indian kids have anywhere to play football, and they really don't play football. The number of kids of ages 8 thru 16 who play more than 25 football matches per year (say 15 in some league and 10 other pickup type games) and can spend 10 hours/week practice time near a goalpost for 10-15 extra weeks in India may well be lower than the number that do that in even Kuwait and Qatar for all I know. It is certainly lesser than in Iraq or Thailand or any of the African countries. We simply do not have playing fields for football and only very very few kids play serious football. Minuscule by world standards. Yeah, all kids play it sometimes and they all like football in India, but that doesn't get you anywhere. There aren't chances for most of them to ever play much. There clearly aren't enough playing fields to organize any sort of comprehensive youth soccer leagues anywhere.

Then of course, all good athletes waste time playing cricket, finally figuring out that athleticism is probably not all that is needed in cricket, and it is too late for sports like football by the time they realize they will not become SRTs. Over the last 40 years or so, I think the total playing area for kids to play football probably has shrunk to 1/4th of what it was in the 60s, because the kids will put 4 cricket pitches and play tennis ball cricket there. Same on most school fields too. Since the British left, many many places in India have not had the vision to build much of open playing fields for kids either, whle our population increased manyfold.

If cricket weren't there, India would be a power in football WITHOUT A DOUBT. Most other countries do not have any other sport taking up football playing fields. Open playing areas for kids are used only for football everywhere in the world, except in the cricket countries (because no other sport needs open space, and basbeall cannot be played on just any grass field easily)

Anyway, it is not true to say that football is an inexpensive sport. It is quite expensive because of the land needed for it.

Jay

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Re: ASIAN GAMES 2010 nov 12th to 27

Postby prasen9 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:11 pm

I do not know if that is true now but when I grew up (late 70s and 80s), we used to predominantly play football the whole year and cricket maybe a month or two. There were ample fields to play football. Not proper stadiums but large enough fields to play. I did grow up in the suburbs though. Kolkata proper perhaps never had space and perhaps the big cities never will. Maybe now the population pressure has taken away the lands and cricket has supplanted football.

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Re: ASIAN GAMES 2010 nov 12th to 27

Postby mugu » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:32 pm

Jay is right. Almost every available space is taken up by cricket in cities like Delhi (several other North Indian cities, too), while you can occasionally find the odd group playing football in an area that has to be bigger than the smaller groups of areas used for cricket. This phenomenon has been marked during the past decade or so and by the day the number of grounds devoted to cricket increases while that for football dwindles. I can still find young men and not-so-young men playing football in Kerala (during my holidays in my hometown) when you take an evening walk but the grounds are fast being gobbled up by a variety of agencies and there is no attempt to arrest this trend. At the Centre, they have formed a National Playgrounds Association, on the initiative of our Sports Minister, but apart from its launch and some funds being granted nothing has been heard about it. Mani Shankar Aiyar's PYKKA has been a success, I am told, in the rural areas, and I wonder how many of those rural townships, granted funds, have managed to get a football ground. They can have a football ground or a hockey field, or a volleyball or basketball court or any sports ground, depending on the popularity of the sport in those areas. Kabaddi (circle kabaddi) is hugely popular in Punjab and they have big prize money competitions in rural areas there. I am sure football is still being taken care of in States like Bengal, Kerala, TN, Karnakata, Maharashtra, Goa, Manipur and Punjab but obviously it is becoming an impossible task to rejuvenate Indian football despite the I-League, foreign coach, sponsorships, TV coverage and good funds. Despite the so-called professional set-up, our team played (probably the first two matches) in practice kits in the Asian Games since neither the IOA nor the AIFF managed to arrange playing kits before the team left for Guangzhou.

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Re: ASIAN GAMES 2010 nov 12th to 27

Postby arjun2761 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:25 pm

The "lack of land" theory is an interesting one. Not sure that I fully buy that as the reason why we are so inept although it is probably a significant reason why we aren't as good as we could be. We should still have hundreds of thousands of kids (say 500,000) who have been exposed to some level of football in India in a given year from whom the most talented could have been spotted enough to go into some more specialized Academies. Perhaps, the number of Academies (or their quality or their ability to spot the most talented ones) is what is lacking to develop the raw talent that should come through based on the sheer numbers. I won't be surprised if the number of kids in India who play football in a given year exceed the total "native" male populations of a lot of these Arab countries.

For example, the UAE probably has a native Emirati population of 1 MM of which around 500 K are males. Disclaimer: the number's here are speculations by me but I would be surprised if they off by that much.

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Re: ASIAN GAMES 2010 nov 12th to 27

Postby Prashant » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:04 pm

I would guess the lure of cricket is a larger barrier than the lack of land. I mean in places like Qatar & UAE there is ONE high-profile sport. Any good athlete is going to gravitate to soccer. I know they play volleyball etc., but these are really nowhere near as high profile. Soccer is really the only game in town.

I wonder if a better comparison is the US, where soccer has been the most widely played sport among children under 15 since the 1970s. Yet, it has made very limited inroads among adults, because all the really elite athletes are exposed to bigger lures from other sports. They may be crazy about soccer till middle school, and highly promising, but in high school they will gravitate to one of the trifecta of gridiron/baseball/basketball. This trend finally started to change in the mid 1990s when Taylor Twellman was the first major soccer player here who turned down a career in pro baseball to focus on soccer. To date, he is the only one I'm aware of, but there are doubtless a few more minor examples.

Similarly In India, if you're a general athletic talent, you probably excel at cricket when young, and once you do, you're so much more in the limelight for that than for any other sport. Possibly Goa and Kerala are exceptions though.

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Re: Development of football in India

Postby arjun2761 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:53 pm

http://www.sportstaronnet.com/stories/20101209505603600.htm

Interesting article on some talented basketball players from India who are apparently training in the US under the auspices of the IMG-Reliance. What does this have to do with football? I noticed the comment on the coaches on the lack of development of lower body strenth and power of the Indian kids. Since football is a lower body centric sport, perhaps this has something to do with our ineptness in football beyond simply the lack of playing fields or the proper development programs (or perhaps they are related).

What do you mean by physicality of boys and girls?

The biggest thing I noticed is that the cardio-vascular strength is very strong in all the kids, especially their conditioning and their ability to run in straight lines. As for their lower body strength, lower body power and lower body endurance, the range of motion is there, but the power in the muscles isn't...

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Re: Development of football in India

Postby il_fenomeno » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:56 pm

Arsenal to set up football school in India :clap:

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/ ... 939752.ece


Paul Shipwright, the head of Arsenal soccer schools, about the AIFF U-19 team in the I-league:

Emphasising on the fact that the average age of the current AIFF XI, which has been formed with an intention to groom the players for the 2018 World Cup, is slightly on the higher side, he said, "The average age of the team would be around 20 and by the time the World Cup is in sight they will be around 28, which is not right."

He insisted that India needed to pick the boys at younger age.

"About 15-16 years would be the right choice for such a team," he said while pointing out to Keshwal Singh Sanjwan, one of the budding football talents.



http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/spor ... 065597.cms

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Re: Development of football in India

Postby usaindian » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:58 pm


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Re: Development of football in India

Postby jayakris » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:54 pm

That is great news about the stadiums. Of course, just wait till our useless press goes after a scandal in this, talking about curruption (which they think is India's problem, while I only get really excited hearing about any big corruption news in India, as long as it does not take money out of India and as long as bridges don't come down like at CWG - but I digress!) .. It is terrific that Mukesh Ambani is interested in the Cooperage stadium. That Mumbai has just one football stadium for any use, is itself an utter shame. Then to see the condition of that one stadium would make anybody cry. To hear that they still use it for weddings and political rallies and that the turf is nonexistent is just heartbreaking. Somebody fix that place for God's sake, please! I hope this Ambani news is serious.

usaindian (and others) -- Please do a favor and add the titles of the URLs when you post it. It is pretty easy. Just copy the article title first, select the title, and click the url button above the edit box. It will put a [url]and a[/url] aroud the title. Put an "=" sign after the first url and copy in the url of the article. Just 15 second more of work but it makes the link much more worthwhile as people can see what it is about... The above link was,

AIFF ties up with JSW to build Bangalore, Kolkata stadiums (Sify/agencies, Dec 9)

[url=http://sify.com/news/aiff-ties-up-with-jsw-to-build-bangalore-kolkata-stadiums-news-national-kmjvaqhfhgb.html] was what was before the title .. You may know this but are lazy to do it, I know... Just making sure. I have been going in and adding the titles for many many links that many of you post! Too much work for me :)

Jay

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Re: Development of football in India

Postby prasen9 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:14 pm

Will do. I started inlining URLs and you said that you preferred that we not do that. I thought the advantage of the URL was that it told us the source and some people avoid some sources (such as TOI) because of popups and viruses, etc. But, this seems a better scheme on the balance.

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Re: Development of football in India

Postby Atithee » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:03 pm

Prasen, I don't know what you mean by inlining; however, I am glad that Jay has pointed to something I have been waiting to request. As for inlining, I prefer the link to be listed separately (and not part of the paragraph being posted which is what I call inlining). I agree that the source is useful, but just hovering your mouse on the link tells you the source.


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