As loyal fans of any sport, not just “football”, it is huge that a sporting even like the FIFA U-17 World Cup is going to be held in India, a country where cricket has been the dominant sport for the decades that have gone by. Had this been the 1990s, probably the response would have been minimal, apart from a few parts of the country. However, with the success of the ISL and evolution of the I-League, things are looking much better for Indian football (overall, though some of you might disagree).
The sport of football is growing economically and whether we like it or not, we must appreciate the fact that our country is heading in the right direction with sports other than cricket (maximum sport’s revenue share).
This is why it is crucial that we not just cheer India on in this major event, but also acknowledge the fact that it is being held in our country and help them generate a decent amount of revenue.
Now the question would be,
“Why do I help them (FIFA) generate money out of the event when I am a fan of the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and players like Ronaldo and Messi or I just do not watch football at all?”
The reason is simple. If this event is successful, we are giving FIFA a direct hint that the country can manage and sustain an event and generate a profit. This in turn will urge them to give more such events to India and expect that they will possibly look to invest their time and money here.
Some of them are going to be the top stars in the future and Asian football will also get a boost, with overall growth and development of the nation too.
FIFA undertakes projects that help in the growth and development of countries, where football is not well developed and we can utilize this opportunity to create more job opportunities, more revenue and a fan-base as a whole.
This in turn could spark the biggest revolution in the history of Indian football thus far and things could really hit the roof, if we contribute in the right direction and give it the proper push.
Also, for those who will lucky enough to see the “boys in blue” in action, let’s not save our patriotism just for the Independence and Republic Day.
We all spend needless amount of money at times on things that never really matter to us. This is one opportunity for us to spend a minimum amount of money (tickets starting from Rs. 150), for a maximum amount of returns and we all shall reap the benefits of this triumph together. A victory not just for the game of football, but a victory for all of us!!
A quick overview of the groups in the competition-
Below is the schedule for the group stages matches, along with their dates, time and location. Have a look-
Once the group stages conclude, the top two teams from each group will face off in a quarter final stage match, the winners of which will go to the semis and eventually the finals, along with a fixture for third place as well. Here are the dates, venues and time for those-
Image Credits : Shalom Peter aka Mr.Peace