Decoding the immense football following in India for Clubs which are hundreds of kilometres away and why we ardently support these Clubs.
Football, has been given the name of a global sport, but why is that so? Why do we sitting on the other side of the world follow European teams so fervently, staying awake till 2 A.M to watch a game of football, buying jerseys of teams that we have never seen live? The most basic reasoning behind it is that football itself is an extremely simple sport that just requires a ball and some people.
Talking about how friendships and bonds are made over the sport, Samaksh, a second-year student from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce said, “Rather than attending classes we take out a day or two in a week and then go play football and just hang out after and all of my friends come together and play. It can get very competitive and angry on the field but once the game ends, we are friends again.”
When asked about supporting European Clubs, he said that it came down to the quality, as you could see the best players take the field.” Once you see one player or club and start supporting them, you slowly get invested in it, it’s like being part of a global family where no one judges you and you are united by this one club you love.”
Does this mean that Indian football does not have the same drama as European Clubs? According to Babil, a third-year student at Jadavpur University, this is not the case. He said, “When one comes from Kolkata, the idea that Indian football isn’t as compelling is immediately dispelled when you see the fierce rivalry between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal FC. While supporting European Clubs is a trend, we should not forget to support our teams, especially in Bengal which has a prevalent football culture.”
While there is nothing wrong with loving a foreign club and being fervent supporters as the quality and accessibility are much better. We should not forget to support Football in our domestic level through the ISL and the I league as it is only with the support that we can hope to bring up Indian footballing standards and talent to those that we watch and adore in the west.
Featured Image Credits: New Indian Express
Prabhanu Kumar Das