Title: Analysis of the ‘Beautiful Game’ in India
Group Members: Nikita Takkar, Junhai Jaiswal, Ajith Kumar, Suraj Kashyap, Anupama Mehra, Vasundhara Rajbongshi, Suchayan Hutom Pyancha and Rinchen Norbu Wangchuk.
Introduction (& History):
A: Good Morning IIMC! Welcome to IIMC’s resident community radio station at 96.9 FM! We are Group 7 from the department of English Journalism. Today, we are going to talk to you about the ‘Beautiful Game’ in India. Besides conversations on the major European Leagues, conversation about football in India is generally regulated to how poor the state of the national team is, and how we will never qualify for the World Cup, which is tragic to say the least. B: Absolutely! Good Morning IIMC! This is B. In this edition, we will take you through the history of Indian football, followed by issues that have plagued the game in India despite being the most popular sport in the world and we will conclude with what the future may hold for the ‘Beautiful Game’. However, before we get into analysis of football in India, why do you think football is called the ‘Beautiful Game’? A: Beauty, as a concept, is very subjective. Being the most popular sport in the world by a country mile probably helps in establishing the notion of football being the ‘Beautiful Game’. On a more subjective level, it is the beautiful game because of the myriad of emotions that it brings out in both players and the viewer. B: Another view one can take is that football is really a very simple game, and it can be played anywhere, by anybody, at any time and under any condition. Beauty, in such a sense, lies in simplicity I suppose. Of course, it can’t be played in the dark! A: Hahaha! Pele, the greatest football player ever to have graced the game according to some, once said, “Football is a beautiful game”. B: I have a better quote. Coming back to the myriad of emotions it brings out in both players and fans alike, there is another quote that comes to mind. Bill Shankly, one of the greatest managers in the game and the manager of Liverpool Football Club in the ‘60s up to the mid ‘70s once said, “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” A: Well said! I would find it hard to disagree with him. Let us now get back to our original topic of discussion. What are your initial impressions about the game in India? B: The first reaction I have is that in a country, with a population over 1.2 billion, most of us are immersed into the game of cricket, and the space football occupies in the mind of the average Indian sports fan, is significantly smaller. There is no denying the fact that Cricket is a religion in this country. A: I concur. But what irks me, as a football fan, is the state of the most popular sport in the world being so dismal in a country like ours, where we have a significant number of passionate football fans. India is at their lowest ever ranking. FIFA puts 168 nations above the planet's second-most populous country. We have never participated in the FIFA World Cup and in 2011, it was after 27 years, did we manage to qualify for the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asia Cup. B: But we did qualify for the World Cup. India did qualify by default for the 1950 FIFA World Cup finals as a result of the withdrawal of all of their scheduled opponents. But the governing body, the AIFF (All India Football Federation), decided against going to the World Cup, being unable to understand the importance of the event at that time. A: Very strange. What were the reasons given by the AIFF?
B: Reasons given by AIFF was that there was the cost of travel (although FIFA agreed to bear a major part of the travel expenses), lack of practice time, team selection issues and valuing Olympics over FIFA World cup. A: Valuing the Olympics over the FIF World...