When will the FIFA World Cup possibly come to India?
When will the FIFA World Cup possibly come to India?
When will the FIFA World Cup possibly come to India?
World CupWhen will the FIFA World Cup possibly come to India?

When will the FIFA World Cup possibly come to India?

The FIFA World Cup is currently underway in Qatar but India has never been able to qualify for the tournament in its history. With 1.4 billion people once again going unrepresented at the most watched athletic event on the planet, India will not be one of the nations competing. How can this be different? How is it possible for India to participate in a World Cup for the first time ever? Neel Shah, a sports management expert and instructor, and Gaurav Gala, a seasoned broadcast journalist, make an attempt to provide an explanation in their book Awakening the Blue Tigers.

Awakening the Blue Tigers, a book by Om Books International, examines the current state of Indian football and provides a step-by-step roadmap for how India might become a footballing powerhouse. The book was launched in Kolkata on October 28 at Starmark, South City Mall, in the presence of the authors as well as Paul Masefield, a football commentator and pundit, and Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, the editor-in-chief of Om Books International. My Kolkata was present to hear the panel discuss their perceptions of Indian football and a potential road map for change.

The conversation for the evening, led by Ray Chaudhuri, started by exposing the book’s origins: a straightforward question from his son Shashwata, who is in his adolescent years, regarding the necessity for a book explaining India’s absence from the World Cup this year. Gala was the first to be approached, and once Shah agreed to participate, it only took one discussion to conclude the book, which was written in just six months, despite the fact that the two authors had only previously and during that time spent a total of 20 minutes together.

“Growing up in the US, I frequently asked myself, ‘If the US can qualify for the World Cup, why can’t India?’ The enthusiasm that would be unleashed if and when India does that is something I don’t believe we can completely conceive. I knew we had to write the book jointly when I learned Gaurav and I had similar thoughts,” Shah said.

India had been invited to the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, but the AIFF decided to prioritize the 1951 Asian Games and the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. He continued by arguing that this was the wisest course of action in the short term because the World Cup had not yet attained the status of a major international sporting event. Long-term, it damaged India’s relationship with FIFA and “put us back by almost four decades, as we were denied qualification until 1986.” As a result, some of our best players were never able to compete at the highest level, and subsequent generations were denied the opportunity to experience what it’s like to play in a World Cup.

Gala took over from Shah to discuss the significance of the 1983 World Cup, which India won, in the history of Indian football. “India’s victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup in England marked a significant turning point for the country’s sport. We staged the World Cup in India four years later, which greatly increased its visibility among Indian audiences. The BCCI sold the rights to broadcast Indian cricket to a private business after the Indian economy was opened up, realizing that they had been sitting on a huge cash cow.”

This resulted in the strengthening of facilities in addition to providing cricket with a huge cash boost and making it economically feasible for players. Can football experience the same thing? Yes, and it might be enough to triumph if you qualify for the football World Cup; this accomplishment might be just as amazing as winning an event that is comparable to it in cricket right now. Masefield was asked by Ray Chaudhuri how and when India may qualify for the World Cup. Masefield retorted that India has a great opportunity because the competition would start with 48 teams in 2026.

“India and China are two nations that FIFA is really keen in getting into the World Cup. But we also need to watch how the extra World Cup berths are distributed. Giving South America, which only has 10 teams, five and a half slots doesn’t make sense in my opinion. Because there are so many more worthy competitors, I’d much rather see the Asian teams receive more berths. Indian football currently has a significantly larger talent pool to choose from because of the expansion of the Indian Super League (ISL). I am confident that India will soon make it to the World Cup. Probably in 2030 if not in 2026,” he added.

The topic of Indian football fanaticism and how it fosters a vibrant culture for the beautiful game gradually came up in the conversation. Shah and Gala swapped tales of a tea vendor in North 24-Parganas who gave away free tea whenever Argentina played (“He considers Lionel Messi to be his son!”) and of Kerala Brazil supporters who suggested Ayurvedic treatment for Neymar when the Brazilian superstar suffered a terrible injury in the middle of the 2014 World Cup.

“Indian football fans have a particular sense of tribalism that causes them to care about the teams and countries they support, even if they may live thousands of miles away from those teams’ bases,” Paul Masefield said. “However, just because you root for Real Madrid, Chelsea, or Manchester United doesn’t exclude you from attending home games to support your neighborhood side. I think different fan allegiances can exist and work well together.”

“While hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 went quite well, holding the adult World Cup is a completely different challenge. Even while FIFA is interested in granting India future tournaments, it might not be a good idea to host the World Cup anytime soon considering the investment and the massive resources necessary,” Gala added. “The ideal scenario is for us to host a World Cup after participating in one or two. That will guarantee that we can play at a level appropriate for such a famous tournament.”

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When will the FIFA World Cup possibly come to India?
kenneth De Souzahttps://madoverfootball.com/
I like football, and I love to write about it. I report and write on stories in the football world. I'm also a huge fan of the game.


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