The growing craze of Football in India


Football is no doubt the most popular sport on earth. More than 200 countries have participated in this beautiful game and its fan following is uncountable. India is no exception to this theory as millions of Indians follow and support the game religiously. It’s been more than 100 years now since Football is being played in India. Mohun Bagan holds the record of Asia’s oldest football club, which was founded in Kolkata in year 1889 much before the emergence of Premier League giants Liverpool FC.

Though India stands nowhere close to the top teams of world football, but the craze for the beautiful game is extremely high in our country especially among the youth. Today’s generation is religiously following world football and are passionate about the sport.

Every four years, Indians actively watch the FIFA World Cup and a huge craze of this beautiful game is created among the country, irrespective of our participation.

The top clubs in the world have fan clubs in several cities of India, They conduct screenings of games and the supporters in numbers come to watch the matches together almost every week. Some of the fan clubs have also been officially recognized and labeled as “Official supporters club” by the respective clubs.

In India, Kolkata is known to be the hub of Indian football. The most famous match in India football takes place between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. Every year twice, over lakhs of people turn up to watch the historic Kolkata derby which have the biggest fan bases in the country .

The craze of football in India is growing rapidly and somewhere its credit goes to the emergence of Hero Indian Super League, since 2014 the tournament has successfully turned the focus of Indians towards football. The initiative of IMG-Reliance and AIFF has been a grand success for Indian football.

The grounds have almost remained full in every ISL Match. The masses turned up for the matches and Indian people were actually interested in watching and following this beautiful game.

LIVE FOOTBALL SCREENING: Best sports bars in Delhi.


What is the ideal place to chill after a hectic day at work, A complete chill out zone where you can spend some quality time with your friends by watching live football matches and playing various sports. A complete entertainment spot with the company of drinks and great food. Read more to know about the best sports bars in Delhi NCR.


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Smaaash is currently the best sports bar in Delhi NCR, a complete package of sports and entertainment with huge space. Nestled within the glitzy and gleaming DLF Mall of India.
Live screenings of football matches are played mostly every weekend but the highlight of this sports bar is the Super Keeper, Yes a robotic goal keeper who’s against you. Exciting Deals and offers are given if you beat the Super Keeper more than 2 times.

Location: 4th Floor, DLF Mall of India, Sector 18, Noida
Average cost for two people: ₹ 1,350
Phone number:  0120 2595111

Underdoggs Sports Bar & Grill


Imagine watching your favorite team play with your friends live on 30 HD screens and 2 projections screens with awesome food and chilled drinks all under the same roof. A place which covers over 9000 square feet full of entertainment options. . Pool tables, table tennis, shuffle boards, darts, board games, beer pong & interactive gaming, so much that you’ll never want to leave.

Location: Global Foyer Mall, 2nd Floor, Golf Course Road, Near Mercedes Building, Sector 43, Gurgaon 122002
Average cost for two people: ₹ 2000
Phone number: 9818900025

Game of Legends – Sports Bar, Grill and Lounge


This is the ideal place for sports enthusiasts or anyone looking to simply unwind! Come here with your friends to enjoy a highly anticipated match as they have an array of HD plasmas and big screen TVs catering to everyone from the casual sports fan to the die-hard fanatic.

Location: Level 3, City Square Mall, Rajouri Garden
Average cost for two people: ₹ 1,450
Phone number: +91 8826486677

Yes Minister – Pub & Kitchen 


This place is like heaven for football fans, Live Screening, FIFA tournaments and Foosball What else?  Play a round of snooker, make your bowling game strong and riding the crazy Mechanical Bull. Plan out a day doing all of this with your mates while you grab some mouthwatering food and sip on their mind blowing cocktails.

Location: Essex Farms, 4, Hauz Khas, New Delhi
Average cost for two people: ₹ 1,800
Phone number: +91 9711495495



Noida’s hottest gaming parlor, Glued offers you swanky billiards and snooker tables, a bowling alley, a foosball table. Live football matches every weekend and if you are football fan then you have the opporrtunity to become a part of supporters club of many football teams too. Sit back and enjoy your hookah and munchies whilst playing FIFA on Playstation.

Location: Glued Reloaded, Dynamic House, Next to HP Petrol Pump, Sector 41, Noida
Average cost for two people: ₹ 1,000
Phone number: +91 9540049974

So the next time you wanna head out with your buddies for a football night, you know exactly where to head to!

How ISL is helping Indian Football

Football has always been not so famous in India, the country has never even managed to appear for a single match in the FIFA World Cup, and with a country with over 1.2 billion population it is indeed quite surprising. But the question arises why, Why can’t India produce 11 players from 1.2 billion population ?, Why don’t people in India give importance to this beautiful game?, What is holding back football in India?
Well there are couple of factors which are affecting it. Poor infrastructure, Television coverage, Corruption, Politics, Competition from other sports and Bad exposure. Parents in India consider football as a extra curricular activity but when it comes about career they still want them to become an Engineer or Doctor.
The status of Football in India has been a lot better since 2014 as Indian Football has rapidly developed in these few years and few credits goes to the HERO INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE, the tournament was started in year 2014 with a vision to make football a top sport in India and to increase the standard of Indian football globally. The league currently features eight teams from around India, with four of the top five cities by population represented in the league.

The first edition of the tournament was played in 2014 and since that time it has included some International Footballing legends like Robert Pires, David James, Roberto Carlos, Marco Materazzi, Freddie Ljungberg, Luis Garcia, Elano, florent malouda and Alessandro Del Pierro. The idea behind this was not only to attract viewers but also to guide the domestic talents.

The ISL teams have also linked up with few well known international clubs like Club Atlético de Madrid and Feyenoord. There are also several leagues and tournaments sponsored by the ISL teams which are played in domestic level to hunt young talents all over the country.

It has helped in increasing the popularity of the sports, the international and marquee players have helped in drawing a lot of support as people relate with these players if they follow the european leagues and international football. Any event which draws international attention will have a positive impact on the economy of the country. And the ISL has undoubtedly delivered in this front. Moreover, jobs have also been generated because of various activities such as stadium renovations, selling items during matches etc so it is ok to say that ISL has helped in increasing the Economy too.

Last but no the least, ISL has become a platform through which youngsters showcase their talent. Unsurprisingly, quite a few new picks for the national team have risen through the ISL. Bengaluru FC became the first ever club in the history of India Football to play AFC Cup Final last year. Indian National Football recently achieved their best FIFA ranking 101 after 1996, and somewhere ISL was one of the reason.

In the beginning ISL went through a lot of criticism but it was said that in a long run it will help the country and at the moment it is clearly visible that ISL is helping in increasing the standards of football in India.


FIFA’s 48-team World Cup: A hope for India?

One of the biggest news this year was FIFA’s decision to expand the World Cup. Gianni Infantino, the president of  Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) proposed the plan and on 10th January 2017, FIFA announced that with unanimous voting they have come up with the decision to approve Gianni Infantino’s plan of expanding the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026.

The first ever World Cup took place in year 1930, Uruguay were the hosts and the tournament comprised just 13 countries. But football has grown since then, FIFA currently has 211 national football teams as members. FIFA’s expressed ambition for this expanded tournament is that it will allow more countries to take part , by expanding the tournament Fifa can expect to raise an extra $1bn (£823m) in revenue too.

India is currently 101 in FIFA rankings which is their best record since 1996. With the country hosting U-17 World Cup this year they will have some fresh talents to shuffle in the team for International Friendlies, and with the quality performances India is giving there are very bright chances of getting qualify for the 48 team World Cup.  The Indian FA – All India Football Federation (AIFF), General Secretary, Kushal Das said “It was already discussed earlier and we knew that it would be approved. I am not surprised at all as it is a unanimous decision by the FIFA executive committee. The interesting thing to see will be that how many teams make the cut from Asia,”

When asked about if this decision alters AIFF’s plans to see India’s vision going ahead, Mr.Das replied, “I mean we always said that we wanted to play the 2026 World Cup and now with this development, let us see how we work our things surrounding it.”

The current batch of the Under-17 players would go on to form the core of the national squad if at all India qualifies for the 2026 World Cup, the side coached by Nicolai Adam recently hammered Russia 8-0  in the ongoing Granatkin Cup, only had positives to take out. “They are improving, they are getting all the exposure that is needed and hopefully we will have a competitive side,” he said.

All you need to know about KHELEO


On 10th February, The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Unveiled the mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017. A clouded leopard named KHELEO was introduced to the public. The ceremony was attended by Vijay Goel, India’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Praful Patel, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the tournament. The ceremony took place in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

A clouded leopard is an endangered species of cat, whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia into China. Since 2008 the Clouded Leopard is listed as “Vulnerable’ species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. One of the main reason of choosing KHELEO a clouded leopard as the mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 India is to create awareness, Since there are hardly 10000 of the kind are left on earth.

Vijay Goel spoke to the audience and expressed hope that Kheleo will capture the attention of youngsters and motivate them to take up football. He even said “Kheleo is vibrant, enthusiastic, young and a perfect representation of our country. He will help us to involve kids with football in a fun way. We are sure that he will be one of the most memorable mascots a sporting event in India has ever seen.”

Meanwhile, Praful Patel, stated that Kheleo will be the face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, he will be going across the country to promote the tournament and to inspire kids and adults. “Presenting Kheleo as the Official Mascot to the world is another big step in our country’s development,” he said.

The tournament will take place between 6th October to 28th October 2017 and Kheleo will undoubtedly play an important role in India’s much-awaited tournament.

INDIA BREAKS FREE: Claims the 101 spot in FIFA rankings.


After 18 years, Indian National Football team has done it. India have achieved their best position in FIFA rankings since may 1996. According to the recently published Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) Rankings of March 2017, India have risen to 101st position. Leaving behind countries like the Democratic Peoples Republic (DPR) of Korea, Thailand, Latvia, Jordan and Iraq also equaling points with Estonia, Lithuania and Nicaragua, Thanks to two important victories – a 3-2 win over Cambodia in a International friendly, which preceded a 1-0 win over Myanmar in their Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) 2019 Asian Cup qualification opener.

The credit of this accomplishment goes equally to Head Coach Stephen Constantine, Under his spell the Blue Tigers have won 12 of their last 21 matches while loosing only 7. The Coach has also given chances to many youngsters who have turned up very well in last few years.

India have risen eight places to 11th among 46 teams from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Among India’s primary opponents in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification group, Iran are the leaders ranked 28th internationally, Kyrgyzstan have fallen a place to 128th, while Myanmar have risen 11 places to 166th. Macau are unchanged from 184th.

India will face Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan this month, with this form India can achieve a better ranking. The current rankings leave India in an advance position to penetrate the top 100, as they last did in 1996, rising to 94 Internationally.

COUNTDOWN BEGINS: 184 days to go for FIFA U-17 World Cup India.


Only 184 days to go for FIFA U-17 World Cup that is going to take place between 6 to 28 October 2017. This will be the 17th edition of the tournament that will take place in India, Who will host their first ever FIFA tournament. Azerbaijan, Ireland and Uzbekistan were the other contenders to host the tournament, the bid had to be submitted by 15 November 2013 and On 5 December 2013 in Salvio, Brazil FIFA revealed that India will host the tournament after a executive committee meeting.

India announced the initial short-list of 10 venues in December 2013, The FIFA delegation visited India between 19–25 October 2016 to evaluate the progress made towards the preparation in each of the six stadiums. After a thorough inspection, the 13-member FIFA team, along with 10 members of the Local Organising committee, ratified Kochi, Goa, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Guwahati, and Kolkata as venues for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2017.


Kheleo is the mascot of the tournament, a clouded leopard found in the Himalayan foothills. Kheleo was unveiled on 10 February 2017, five months after the emblem was launched. The official slogan of the tournament is “Football Takes Over” which was unveiled on 27 March 2017.
The Bank of Baroda became the first Indian company to sign up as a national supporter for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 followed by Hero MotoCorp.

A total of 24 teams qualified for the final tournament. In addition to India who qualified automatically as hosts, the other 23 teams qualified from six separate continental competitions. There will be five groups, the qualified groups will play the knockout stage followed by Round of 16, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals. The top two teams of each group and the four best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16.
All times are local, IST  (UTC +5:30). The draw for the group stage will be held on 7 July in Mumbai.

The final will be held the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on 28 October 2017.