Thursday , February 9 2023

India needs to utilise hype & interest around 2022 FIFA World Cup for our football!

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is history and for hosts Qatar despite all the pre-tournament criticism it was a huge footballing success.

One nation which did not take part but had a huge part to play in the tournaments overall success was India or better to say the fans from India, who visited the competition, be it as expats living in Qatar or visiting from India and around the world. Also not to forget those who worked to make the tournament a success.

At the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup I was in Kolkata, then in Dubai and saw the final few games back home in Germany. In my conversations and social media interactions I once more realised that there is unparalleled passion for the FIFA World Cup amongst Indians especially for the national teams of Brazil and Argentina.

But on the other side many of these fans do not watch or care about Indian football, be it the national team, top level club football (Indian Super League, I-League) or football played locally. For many, football is a once in a four year experience in following and watching the FIFA World Cup.

Even India’s prime minister Narendra Modi ji seemed excited about football during the tournament and made a pledge for India to host one of the future FIFA World Cup’s!

First of all, a lot of these football aficionados are irregular fans, who want to watch big highlight competitions like the FIFA World Cup or maybe the UEFA European Championships or the Copa America.

Others might be a little bit more invested into football by watching European club football.

And I therefore asked myself the question, how could India and its football profit and gain from the hype and interest surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Indian football’s stakeholders need to have the media as a partner to reach out to the football interested public. Besides social media, the media is a key tool in getting more people to read, hear or watch something on Indian football.

Fan engagement programs are needed by clubs to locally tap into this huge potential.

While Indian national team matches needed to highlighted in a much bigger way for people to take notice. Not all will come to the grounds, but with these small, little measures hopefully some who enjoyed the 2022 FIFA World Cup will also come forward to support Indian football.

We need all the support we can get!

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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