Football used to be a popular sport in India in 1950s-60s but the standard of the game and spectator interest declined over the years, making way for Cricket to grab the spotlight. India is currently at 166th position in FIFA rankings. However, in a few Indian states such as West Bengal, Goa and the North-East, Football was always more popular than other sports. And now Football is back, rekindling its flame in the hearts of sports lovers of all age groups.
Although Football, being a contact sport, initially made many parents nervous about their kids playing it, as chances of getting hurt were high, now an increasing number of parents are encouraging their kids to play the game, more than ever before. In short, Football is cool!
1. Parents Have Been Part Of Generation That Follows Football
The majority of parents in the age group 24-35 years have been following Football religiously, thanks to the worldwide excitement generated by FIFA World Cup—arguing with friends about who is a better player, ready to ‘butt heads’ with supporters of opponent teams! This love for the sport makes them more supportive towards their kids’ preference for Football.
2. Indian Super League
ISL is now World Football’s fourth biggest league. It has brought glamour to the sport, with actors such as Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan, as well as Cricket stars such as Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly having invested in the sport and promoting it. This was the only factor missing in attracting the audience as well as players, not to forget their catchy theme song: “Come on India- Lets Football”.
3. We Are Bored Of Cricket
India is known as a country obsessed with Cricket, but we are slowly getting bored of it due to the overdose, and audiences are looking for other sporting options. Cricket is also considered a lazy sport, with only a few players moving at a given point of time. Even its shortest format of 20-20 matches runs for a minimum of four hours. Football, on the other hand, provides fast-paced action and thrill in much shorter game times.
4. Contributing To Overall Development Of A Kid’s Personality
The new generation of parents and coaches tries to teach kids through multiple channels and sports is one of them. Football is a great choice for this. It not only helps in developing sporting spirit in kids, just like any other sport, but they also learn skills such as team-work and thinking on their feet. It pushes children out of their homes and encourages them to build fitness levels required for the sport. Also, schools and training camps are are trying to make this a gender neutral sport. This will definitely help in breaking some steretotypes and make kids more participative. How cool is that!
5. The Swag
Football players across the World are considered the last word in style! There is also a wealth of Football related merchandise and memorabilia available for kids. Imagine how great kids look in an Arsenal jersey and Beckham hairstyle, walking smartly towards the Football field! Kids these days are growing up faster than ever, and they know what they need to do to stand out. This is definitely an aspect that drives more kids to Football.
Whatever be the reason for choosing Football, there’s no denying the fact that it is a sport that worships fitness—a great reason in itself to get kids in the habit.