Connect with us

Indian Football

The Indian Super League – an outsiders’ view


The Indian Super League (ISL) has had an encouraging start in its first season. The long term benefits of the ISL has been a much debated topic among football fans but the positive impact that it has made in terms of visibility of Indian football not only in India but abroad is undeniable. Shane Burns provides an Irishman’s perspective to India’s latest footballing adventure.

Del Piero Pires


The inception of the Hero Indian Super League has seen the footballing world’s eyes suddenly switch towards India for the first time in recent history. A nation fueled by the cricketing success of the national team throughout its short independent history, room for another sport to take precedent among the one billion Indian people was seen unlikely until the creation of the Super League that is currently underway. In 2010 after the South African World Cup tournament, the idea of making Indian football one of the major players on the planet was established when the first thoughts of a new league were developed into reality within four years.

The first attempts to create the league saw the Bengal Premier League Soccer established in 2012 and would see players such as Robbie Fowler, Fabio Cannavaro, Robert Pires and Hernan Crespo all agree in principal to ply their trade in the newly formed league. Due to financial reasons the idea was dismantled which brought great embarrassment to the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The dream of world viewership upon Indian football was cast in real doubt until mid 2013 when it was announced that the funding for a new league would be made available with cities throughout India bidding to be granted a franchise in their own city.

Alessandro Del Piero became the first major marquee signing when he rejected offers from Europe, Australia and America to spearhead the Delhi franchise’s attack. Other marquee players such as David James, Elano, David Trezeguet, Robert Pires and Nicolas Anelka swiftly announced their impending arrival in India by joining other franchises not only to capture the imagination of the European football fan but also make India a major world player in footballing terms.

From a personal point of view, the set up of the tournament has been nothing but a success in terms of the viewership here in Europe. The presence of stars easily recognizable to many of the viewers in the form of marquee signings previously plying their trade in Europe’s top five divisions whilst  also achieving a great deal of success both domestically and internationally for their respected nations, has garnered interest in many football fans.

The impact of the ISL has also posed questions in my mind regarding the state of Indian football. Domestically the I-League is struggling at grassroots level and also at the highest possible level of the domestic game in India. Many stars of the I-League are featuring in the ISL in an attempt to achieve financial success but also showcase their ability on a worldwide scale. Unfortunately some of Indian football’s most iconic names such as Sunil Chhetri have refused offers from ISL teams as they have not been allowed to do so by their I-League club Bengaluru FC, who are of the belief that it will damage the existing league and its ability to produce players.

Interest in the ISL has grown more so in the United Kingdom and Ireland where Star Sports have broadcast the games live from India on each game day. Exclusive coverage and the input of some of the most iconic British commentators have added to the occasion. The style of football, passion from the fans and fast paced viewing all adds to the occasion which nobody could have predicted only a few short years ago.

Shortly we will see the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India which will be the first FIFA tournament held in the sub-continent. Prospering times lay in store for Indian football and from an outsider’s point of view we can only look upon the project in India with hope and optimism that this great nation can achieve its dream of seeing its national team at a FIFA World Cup tournament. The success of the Indian Super League and knock on effect to the I-League will help those dreams become reality quicker than expected.  A nation determined to achieve success, it’s evidently clear that the ISL could be a stepping stone for the development of the Indian national team. Fan crazed football fanatics have religiously tuned into the Barclays Premier League for years, now it’s simply our turn to tune into the Indian Super League and watch on as the impressive first half of the first edition continues to capture thousands of passionate football fanatics like yours truly.

Hopefully within the next few years we can see India playing at a higher level and the ISL continuing to be a success. Already at this stage of the competition, more goals have been scored than there was in 1992 when the inception of the Premier League came about. There’s no denying that if any nation can achieve success on the world stage, it’s India. With unlimited funds, vast resources and dedicated, passionate fans, the future of Indian football looks bright from a westerner’s point of view.


Written by Shane Burns

Shane Burns

Shane Burns

Shane Burns is a Manchester City fan who spent his youth divulging himself into the various types of football throughout the world. With the expansion of the Chinese Super League, Shane became increasingly interested in proceedings in the world's most populous country when a University project attracted him to the football existing in China.

Chinese football has since expanded, and so has Shane's horizons. He covers the league indepthly and is a firm believer of what the Chinese are trying to achieve in football
Shane Burns

100 to Watch

Latest

Indian Football1 month ago

Indian Super League 2017-18: U-23 Young Indian Players’ Team of the Season

At the end of the 2017-18 Indian Super League season, it is time for us at Outside of the Boot...

Indian Football1 month ago

Scout Report: Jerry Lalrinzuala | India’s Promising Young Defender

Hrishi Anand provides a scout report which analyses India and Chennaiyin’s promising young defender, Jerry Lalrinzuala Indian football has taken...

Scout Report1 month ago

Scout Report: Houssem Aouar | Lyon’s young midfield star

Kwame Atteen writes a detailed scout report about Houssem Aouar, the Lyon and France midfielder. While we are all so...

Talent Radar2 months ago

U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #16: Youri Tielemans and Patrick Cutrone feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week with the best young...

Talent Radar3 months ago

Brasileirão U-23 Young Players’ Team of the Season 2017: Talent Radar

As the 2017 Brasileirao season has finished, it is time for us at Outside of the Boot to recognize the...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2017 Meiji Yasuda J1 League: Top 5 U-22 Players of the Season

Steven Davies sits down and takes a look at, who in his opinion, have been the best of a bright...

Opinions3 months ago

The Resurrection of Nicklas Bendtner

Harry Burford writes about the resurrection of Nicklas Bendtner. Whilst Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner has all but disappeared from our collective footballing...

Bengaluru FC3 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: ATK 0-2 Bengaluru

Arinjay Ghosh discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished ATK 0-2 Bengaluru Bengaluru FC scored...

Indian Football3 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: ATK 1-2 Chennaiyin

Arinjay Ghosh discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished ATK 1-2 Chennaiyin Chennaiyin FC came...

Talent Radar3 months ago

U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #15: Franck Kessie and Leon Bailey feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week with the best young...

Indian Football3 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: Pune City 3-0 ATK

Naven Venkat discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished Pune City 3-0 ATK Playing the...

Indian Football3 months ago

Mohun Bagan Vs East Bengal: The Enduring Allure Of The Kolkata Derby

Arinjay Ghosh looks at the significance of the Kolkata Derby and why in the ever-changing landscape of Indian football, Mohun...

Indian Football3 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: Mumbai City 0-1 Kerala Blasters

Vatsal Dani discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished Mumbai City 0-1 Kerala Blasters Iain...

Bengaluru FC3 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: Delhi Dynamos 2-2 Bengaluru

Aakriti Mehrotra discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished Delhi Dynamos 2-0 Bengaluru When Delhi...

Bengaluru FC4 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: Bengaluru 1-0 ATK

Arnab Ray discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished Bengaluru 1-0 ATK With the Indian...

Indian Football4 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: Chennaiyin 2-2 Delhi Dynamos

Hrishi Anand discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished Chennaiyin 2-2 Delhi Dynamos Chennaiyin FC...

Indian Football4 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: ATK 1-1 FC Goa

Arinjay Ghosh discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished ATK 1-1 FC Goa FC Goa...

Indian Football4 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: Pune City 5-0 NorthEast United

Naven Venkat discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished Pune City 5-0 NorthEast United This...

Tactical Analysis4 months ago

Tactical Analysis: Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona | Los Blancos Implode in the 2nd Half

Om Arvind provides a tactical analysis of the La Liga game that finished Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona Barcelona were 11...

Indian Football4 months ago

Analysis | Three Things We Learned: ATK 1-0 Delhi Dynamos

Arinjay Ghosh discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished ATK 1-0 Delhi Dynamos ATK rode...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Young Player Rankings 17-18

More on Outside of the Boot

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this