Indian Super League or the ISL can be the marquee event that both Indian football and its fans were hoping for. Under the initiative of Nita Ambani’s Football Sports Development, this event can really make the Indians realize that there is no dearth of potential in India and when given an opportunity to play with the bigger stars, Indian footballers both young and experienced alike can leave their mark. Some of the Indian footballers have already made a name for themselves including their former inspirational skipper Baichung Bhutia. But with the debut of Hero ISL, some of the more uncommon names can become more of a household name.
The biggest advantage of ISL is that football in India will be hugely promoted through this event. India has the world’s second largest population after China and this country has broken every record as far as the live telecast of the FIFA world cup is being talked of. Now these crazy fans and budding footballers can really hope to leave a mark as Indian Super League is all set to dazzle one and all. Most of the people around the world might get an initial feeling that ISL is just another entrepreneurial venture, however, with the rise of footballing talents in India and the way this league has been developed, the main purpose of this league is kept as that of improvement in the level of Indian Footballers.
The proposed league has got eight teams but all the teams have come from all the four directions i.e. north, east, west and south. From up north there is Delhi Dynamos while from the east are NorthEast United and Atletico de Kolkata. From west are the Pune City FC, FC Goa and Team Mumbai. Last but certainly not the least, the southern command is headed by the likes of Kerala Blasters FC and Team Chennai (Chennaiyin FC). Thus, these teams have got a fair coverage of almost all of India and football thus, is all set to make eyeballs grab in all the parts of the country.
Note: Two new teams were added in the 4th season (2017) of ISL: Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC.
Secondly, the owners of all these clubs are all huge celebrities and thus, the loyalty base to the clubs is going to be at par with some of the international clubs. The winner of the highest civilian award in India i.e. that of Bharat Ratna, Sachin Tendulkar has also purchased the team of Kerala Blasters FC and thus, the temperatures are already soaring.
It would be grossly unfair to compare this league with some other established leagues like EPL, as those leagues have been around for years and have better infrastructures and foundations. Having said this, it would not be a surprise if Indian Super League is ready to displace these major leagues after a decade or so. Hero ISL has all the makings of a pretty interesting and fiercely competitive league. Now the ball is in the court of Indian footballers and they have to make sure that along with their bigger International superstars, they also take their game to another level, so that football in India is never the same again.