‘’Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone. We are legion, and football is often the only thing we have in common.’’–Hunter S. Thompson
Football, a religion of zillions of people worldwide! In India after cricket, football is the most-watched and loved game among all the age groups. Be it a 4-year-old kid or a 40-years old man, everyone loves football. This game has everybody’s heart. Around the world, fans are crazy about their country’s respective clubs, like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and so on. These clubs are like temples for their fans and players are revered like Gods. We Indians are also crazy about football clubs but here the case is a little different we are mad about international clubs. The hard reality is that we hardly know any of our native clubs.
Every football tournament be it La-Liga, Premier League, or UEFA Champions League brings fervor among the fans that overhaul everything. With their hearts on their sleeves, ardent football lovers support their club matches by putting everything on stake. Talking about Indian football maniacs, they have formed fan clubs and support their respective international clubs with all the fanaticism. But the question is would they ever show the same love or turn up in the same numbers to campaign for their local city’s or state’s I-League team. Well, we all know the answer!
However, this is not entirely their fault, the lack of interest in domestic football matches is due to lack of awareness and less marketing initiatives. The international clubs spend big bucks on their marketing campaigns. But slowly and steadily things are taking a better shape in India too. The governing bodies are taking indispensable measures to pump-up the current status of the game in our country. With the outbreak of several football clubs and tournaments and leagues, football is getting a whole new stage. One such league is Hero I-League (formerly known as National Football League) which is contested among 11 clubs across the country. The league is currently being sponsored by Hero.
Over the last decade, there has been an incredible rise in the popularity of the game across the nation and the credit goes to leagues like I-league and all. The league has received a fair share of love and viewership in the past few years. With improved stadiums and awareness amongst the audience, the league is attracting the eyeballs. Last year, the I-League engrossed 17.4 million viewers for the first 46 matches. The league has grown multi-fold since the day it started. It is significantly doing well in fortifying the football footprint in India — from Kashmir, North East, and from the south, but still needs a lot of on-ground action.
This year, the 13th edition of the I-League is all set to hit your television screens from 30th November 2019. The defending champion Chennai City is looking optimistic to win their title back under the leadership of Pedro Manzi who was also the top scorer in the last season with 21 goals. TRAU F.C. joined as a promoted club from the I-League 2nd Division while Shillong Lajong F.C. were relegated from the I-League last season and will play in the second division in the 2019-20 season. This season will have 110 matches played across the country.
The Indian fans are all euphoric to witness the magic which Hero I-league will divulge over the next few months. For the first time DSPORT will be telecasting the tournament, so indulge yourself into the sensation of ecstasy and enjoy the league LIVE from 30th November, 2 PM onwards.