The second largest Indian league, Indian Soccer League (ISL), which we thought is a well-known competition, just proved us wrong. In a recent interview to a news channel Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand said, “ISL is famous for Sachin Tendulkar”. It is hard to believe that even after so many international veterans playing for Indian Soccer League, all ISL is famous for is Sachin Tendulkar associated with it.
Promoters, franchises and sponsors have shelled out an estimated Rs 800 crore on the football league – Rs 300 crore spent by the promoters IMG-Reliance and STAR India, Rs 350 crore by the franchises and Rs 150 crore in advertising and sponsorships. This, of course, is nowhere close to the Rs 3,000-3,500 crore riding on the Indian Premier League. Clearly, it’s nowhere near to IPL.
Is Sachin such a big name in India that every other thing looks dull or can it be said that ISL (EVEN AFTER DOING WONDERS IN INDIA) stands nowhere if compared to Barclays Premier League and other European leagues?
We cannot say that only the financial part is important to stage an international tournament, but one needs to be equally competent with other aspects of being in an international arena.
It is a well-known fact that IPL has set a standard after being crowned as the world’s most expensive league. However, if we are capable of spending heaps of money and stage casing the tournament, we can spend a bit more on its advertisement overseas as well.
If a football player is not aware of a tournament going on in the world’s biggest sub-continent, how can we expect a common football to know about what’s going on in all other sports, globally?
The involvement of All India Football Federation (A.I.F.F) on an upper scale with F.I.F.A is needed on priority. They can schedule a time when no other league or famous leagues in the world are on their top level. This allows a maximum amount of engaged players to come to India and be a part of ISL. This will help ISL get more attention by the attendance of those who matter in the world of football.
And well, this can also save us another Sharapova moment, of course!