For Karanjeet Singh, a 13-year-old student in a South Delhi school, football began as a casual kick-about with his friends. Nothing serious, nothing worth giving up his life for. That was four years ago. Today, things have changed, as he returns from a gruelling practice session at a football academy in New Delhi. “Today was about tactics, closing down tight spaces,” he explains during his warm down session, dressed in a Liverpool replica shirt.
Kick off 2.0
Can football finally give cricket the hard tackle in India?
India, football’s sleeping giant, is waking up. Thanks to the internet, the ISL, a FIFA commitment, growing viewership, and grassroots action
The excitement around football in India has increased over the last decade, primarily due to improved and increased coverage of the sport
That said, cricket continues to hold its fort as India's favourite national pastime, in spite of all the controversies surrounding it
But refreshingly enough, the ISL is changing football: from the way the sport is administered, to the way it engages with fans, and the way players are treated (or paid)
What is stopping Indian football is the lack of a hero: a celebrity who will excite advertisers and bring more money into the game