The International Champions Cup over the last few summers has developed itself into the premier pre-season competition for top European football clubs playing across four continents – the United States, China, Australia and Europe.
But why doesn’t the International Champions Cup make a stopover in India?
A very good question, which I wanted to answer for myself and therefore I did a little research about the ICC Global tour and spoke to some people in the football industry about it and why India so far hasn’t been a part of it.
How did the International Champions Cup start
To start off with, the International Champions Cup was started in 2013 by Stephen M. Ross and Relevent Sports as the Guinness International Champions Cup (ICC) to revolutionize the international football landscape by organizing the ICC to transform the standard European club preseason tour into something more worthwhile, into a competitive, world-class tournament.
In 2013 the ICC was only played in the United States with a total of eight clubs. In 2014 the ICC grew to 13 cities in the United States and Canada with more than 631,000 spectators attending the matches.
And then in 2015 the ICC became global with matches in China, Australia and Europe added to the line-up with more and more European clubs wanting to be a part of the ICC as part of their preseason friendlies besides also being paid a handsome match appearance fee while also being able to do commercial and publicity activities around it.
After its fourth edition one can easily say, the International Champions Cup, has a successful model for the organisers and the participating clubs.
But again back my question, Why no ICC stopover in India?
An old reason that a lot of people will name is India’s lack of the necessary sports infrastructure. But that has after the launch of the Indian Super League been overcome, even earlier it had be it the Bayern Munich matches in Kolkata (2008) or New Delhi (2012), or the Argentina vs Venezuela match in Kolkata (2011).
The real reason is funding such high profile matches and as the ICC around the world are not just one off games, but at least three matches to have a tournament character, that makes it even more difficult to fund and host in India.
But maybe in the future there are large Indian corporates or wealthy individuals, who see a value in having the International Champions Cup make a stopover in India.