The Development of Soccer Leagues in India. Soccer is one of the most popular sports in India. The country has its own national team as the representative in international competitions. Indeed, the name of India as a soccer country may not be as popular as other countries in Asia, let’s say Japan, South Korea, or Saudi Arabia. However, it had its own glory in the past. The country successfully passed the qualification of World Cup 1950. Additionally, India was also on the fourth rank in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.
Nowadays, India is still left behind compared to other countries in terms of soccer. It doesn’t mean that the country doesn’t have the best generation for the soccer team. There are some factors that cause this matter. For example, it looks like the government is less concerned about this matter. Interestingly, this sport is still very popular in the country.
India as the Host of Soccer Tournaments
India has held some big world soccer events. One of them is the World Cup U17 conducted in 2017 that became a historic tournament for India. In the event, the country successfully showed the world that it has some great talents although the team didn’t win it.
It made people trust the country more as India is scheduled to be the host of the Women World Cup in 2020. Moreover, the team proved it well by winning over Thailand with 4-1.
India Super League (ISL)
Another factor of the soccer development in the Bollywood country is the presence of the India Super League (ISL) that was just formed in 2013. The system applied is the franchise, very similar to Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US. ISL is also very strict in terms of financial regulation to protect all parties involved from any economic problem
ISL has brought in many big soccer names like David Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero, and Robert Pires in their first season. Until the seasons of 2018/2019, ISL still had some European players including Tim Cahill and Paulo Mechado.
ISL is not the only league in the country. Unfortunately, the popularity of the I-League is still far below ISL. When ISL successfully promoted soccer in India, the I-League still struggled with its internal problem.