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Football Frenzy

Football fever has gripped the whole nation. World cup has infused a breath of fresh air in a sport which was on the verge of oblivion ( especially in the metros).

 

News channels are flooded with reports of never dying passion for the game from every nook & corner of the country, let alone Bengal. The sport transcends caste, creed and transports everyone to a place where passion for the game is the only religion.

The big IT & BPO companies have almost come to a stand-still with some resorting to desperate measures like installing screens in offices to giving incentives for not taking a holiday. In schools, children love playing football (it was the only time I had fun in school), running around emulating the Beckhams and Ronaldinhos, sweating it out, and unknowingly develop qualities like sportsmanship, camaraderie which are imperative to succeed in this competitive world.

But from class 10th onwards the pressure of boards and parents expectations don't leave any time for a sport which requires 11 friends (or at least 5 or 6) and a playground which has become a rarity especially in metros due to sky-rocketing real estate prices, no builder/contractor wants to leave a stretch of land unfortified. And those that are there in some societies have been manicured and beautified ,& now transformed to yoga centers or meeting joint for the elders.

This is one of prime reasons for the children becoming lethargic, obese which leads to feelings of depression culminating into suicidal tendencies.

 

Football as a sport has tremendous commercial possibilities (Man. United is one the richest sports body) as it is a fast paced sport unlike cricket. But, cricketers still, rake in all the moolah and are worshipped as demi-gods because corporates don't want to jinx their tried and tested formula of instant recognition by roping, even second rung cricketers. Football infrastructure in our country is appalling to say the least, with many states not even having a football association.

It's not that we don't have the resources to promote the game , countries like Brazil, Argentina are no better than us , but the administration there is passionate about the game,& therein lies the difference.

If the govt. & sports ministry wants to see the Indian football team make it to the World cup qualifiers let alone finals and more Bhaichung Bhutias and Vijayans to come up through the ranks they should encourage the sport in the schools at the grass root level, direct some money from the filthy rich cricket boards to the domestic infrastructure of football, so that this time if we make it (eternal optimistic), we don't have to go barefooted. If football is properly marketed and provided the requisite infrastructure, then, I sincerely believe that it can give cricket a run for its money!

Until then just sit back and enjoy the World cup , you never know you might be cheering for India in a few yrs. from now. Miracles do happen!

Contributing Author: Rahul Anand, is a second year student of engineering from Delhi university.
rahul.daincredible@yahoo.com


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