Recently, it was announced that the Indian subcontinent will play host to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020. To that end, Pullela Gopichand was of the opinion that India should help organise more football tournaments in the future.
The famous badminton coach recently opened up on the success of the Indian Super League in India. Gopichand had also just launched a football project called Football Mania. Although cricket still rules the roost, football is steadily rising in popularity. The question is, is it popular enough that people can head to the bookmakers, and place bets?
He confessed to the Sportstar that India has grown so large that it is impossible to ignore. Gopichand believes that people view India as having one of the biggest football fan bases. Not only the Football industry grew big in India. India became of the most significant players in the world’s economy – the export of India is on the raise and more and more businesses grow up nowadays.
One of the biggest industries is the online casino India industry, that grows bigger and bigger and attracts more players. By creating games that can run on almost any internet connection, these games attract players from all parts of India. With such a market on a raise, we can expect India starting taking over the biggest Sports in the world – such as Football and even maybe Basketball in the future.
The iGaming in India is also increasing greatly. That means, there are more and more gamers from India that buy more and more games that attract more and more people – a thing that brings more income to the country. Let’s get back to Football now.
In addition to that, the nation is now being taken seriously as a football-playing country. Even FIFA recognised it, couple with the country’s economic muscles.
He continued, “I believe that once we reach a certain level, we should organise competitions one level above us. It gives us the chance to face competition and beat them in our own conditions, helps our players to progress. India should be organising many more tournaments where we can get to the semifinals or final. Hosting competitions brings the nation into the spotlight, for the benefit of players we should host tournaments one level above.”
He also praise the ISL for helping drag India onto the football world map. Gopichand observed that the ISL raked in plenty of interest into football.
It has even got to a stage that there are efforts to rope in foreign coaching, support staff, and even academies have popped up in various parts where teams are based.
The ISL teams are investing in local talent and trying to bring them into prominence, take local players abroad. These club owners are big people whose pride is at stake, so they are investing in the sport, investing in grassroots and want their teams to do well.
Gopichand also spoke about Hyderabad’s entry into the ISL and expressed his regret in not associating with them. He said, “I am associated with the Kerala Blasters because the sponsor of my badminton academy (Gopichand academy) is an owner of the Blasters. The Hyderabad team brand ambassadors are known to us. I am definitely looking forward to watching a home match.”