Posts tagged Indian Premier League
Forza India

After experiencing top flight Indian football (witnessing Mumbai City FC's Friday night ISL victory), I was curious to find about more about the other end of the spectrum - the grassroots. It’s clear that despite the recent growth and increased interest in the domestic game, to truly develop and scale the impact football has in India will be a lengthy, generational task.

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Is there a game on?

The Cooperage Ground is nestled in amongst parks and expensive property in the heart of ‘town’, and the view from its sizeable (but empty) bleachers was a fascinating one. Architecturally, Colaba itself was heavily influenced by the British, with a walk around the local ‘Oval Park’ reminding me more of Oxford or Cambridge than India. Games of schoolboy cricket were taking place as Victorian clock towers and school buildings lined the park’s perimeter. Games of schoolboy cricket, I might add, with far more spectators than joined me in the stands for the MDFA fixture.

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It was all Anelka's fault...

This sparked my interest, and further googling revealed a glimmer of celebrity and known entity in the Indian league. Freddie Ljungberg had played for Mumbai a few years previously as their first landmark signing, and fellow Gunner Robert Pires turned out for FC Goa. Brazilian legend Zico was Goa’s manager during my time in Mumbai, and his countryman Roberto Carlos finished his illustrious career at Delhi Dynamos.

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