At a time India plunged into the lowest ranks of FIFA, at a time Indian Football was seemingly fallen to the grave of World Football, at a time India’s top league – The I-League drawn little attention of fans outside Bengal and Northeastern states and AIFF remained a bay-watcher, Indian corporates who jumped in and took the opportunity of the situation and founded ISL. In no time it became India’s most popular league with it’s colorful and arguably professional approach which was new to the Indian Football Fans. It made some new fans by injecting cricketers and Bollywood actors. It was putting all popular spices into this new league. So far everything worked well for Indian Super League. Whereas in the I-League, out of Bengal and Northeast, the league also made some improvements in the fan base. It shows the positive wave the beautiful game is making in India. Now the question is not about Indian Super League and I-League, but about the technicality of Indian Football. There are obvious improvements happened to Indian Football Players. ISL players drawn major share in the National Squad. Though an unsuccessful Asian Cup campaign, it was undoubtedly a very positive campaign. Coming back to the real question : How far a country can go with two Top Leagues ? How can the recent positive signs be kept alive and make it worth for the future ?
Our history proves that we were having a credible footprint in the world football. And looking back into the those details we can understand that ‘Technicality’ is where we miserably failed and that put our entire football system down. As in every fields, need of the time is undeniable and past says, those who ignored it has failed miserably. Undoubtedly Indian Football have got a lifeline through ISL, this is the high time to turn it into real fortunes of the Indian Football.
The technical challenge Indian Football is facing today is to build a unified Top League in the country. Two parallel leagues have divided the Indian Football fans, Players, Coaches, Referees, and all other resources and that definitely doesn’t gonna do good for Indian Football. A proper league system with the model inputs from successful football nation is inevitable in this country. Of course resources play a major role in making every league successful, taking fan base as a top resource for the success of every club or a league, capital investment comes next to it. As seen over the recent past arguments of some of the ILeague clubs, the lean capital investment make it a hazard for their way to join the ISL. However AIFF and ISL management can’t ignore the fan base of those club. A balance between the fan base and capital investment should be drawn into the picture. It’s high time for AIFF, ISL and I-League management to come around a table and work on to untie the complications in the technicalities, for a Single Unified Top League. It’s not for them, it’s not for us, it’s for the sake of this country’s football eco system.