This is a type of team sport where players attempt at scoring goals outwitting the opposing goalkeeper by dribbling and passing the ball through the field. After the sport of cricket, football is considered to be the next popular most sport in India. This sport is more famous in the states like Goa, Kerala and West Bengal as well as the north east Indian states such as Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Mizoram. The Indian football team had twice been the Asian champions, which raised the standard of this sport in the country. Presently, the I - League that is top most domestic football league in the nation is even ranked among the popular most sports league in the Republic of India. This league involves some of the best football clubs of India as well. Introduced by the British soldiers, the trace of this sport in India can be found around the mid 19th Century. In the present time, the Indian national football team, which is governed by the All India Football Federation or the A. I. F. F., represents the nation in the international football tournaments.
Basic Rules of Football
The fundamentals of this sport include the following rules:
- Needs to be played by 2 teams, each of which consists of 11 players
- The sport is played over a 90 minutes' course that is again divided into 2 halves, where each half stretches for 45 minutes
- The different teams aim at scoring extra goals than their opposition
- A goal can be scored when a football player manages to deposit the football to the goal that is defended by the opponent team's goalkeeper
League System in Indian Football
The All India Football Federation conducted the National Football League in the year 1996, which is the 1st semi-professional league in the country. However, post its foundation; many of the other leagues were founded in the nation. As per a report of F. I. F. A., the A. I. F. F. has got about 6, 540 registered clubs. Following are some of the other kinds of leagues:
- I - League: Founded in the year 2006, this league includes contest among 14 clubs per season.
- I - League 2nd Division: Evenly divided in 3 divisions, this league has got 21 clubs as its members.
- State League: This is said to be the best recreational leagues in the Indian Republic. Each and every state in India has got their individual league.
- Youth League: The current official one in the country is the I - League U 19 that was won in 2011 by the J. C. T. F. C. or the Jagatjit Cotton and Textile Football Club.
Football Cup Competitions in India
The nation is home to many cup competitions, which are based on the sport of football. Names of some of them are as follows:
Durand Cup: Started in the year 1888 at Shimla by Mortimer Durand, the then Foreign Secretary of India, this tournament was suspended twice in between during the time of the world wars. Though, initially, it was held in Dagshai as a recreational event for the British troops, but later in 1940, the city of New Delhi became the permanent venue of the tournament.
Federation Cup: Abbreviated as the Fed cup, this is one of the knockout styled club football match, which is held in the nation every year. Starting from the year 1977, this is one of the most prestigious and important national level football match after the I - League. The winning club of this cup is provided with an opportunity to compete in the A. F. C. Cup or the Asian Football Confederation Cup where they are accompanied by the champion team of the I - League.
I. F. A. Shield: Organized by the I. F. A. or the Indian Football Association, it is a yearly football competition. Started in the year 1893, this is the 4th oldest club football cup competition of the world.
Indian Super Cup: Contested between the winners of the Federation Cup and the I - League, this is a one-off yearly club football match in India. In case, the champions of the I - League becomes the Federation Cup winner, then the opposition is formed by the runners-up of the league. The winning team of this football tournament of India receives the shield whereas, the individual players receive winners' medals.
Santosh Trophy: This is one of the annual football tournaments in India, where the state as well as the government institutions participate. The football team from the state of West Bengal was the 1st winner of this trophy. As of now, they even lead the list of the all-time winners with 31 titles.
Famous Football Clubs in India
Listed below are some of the popular most Indian football clubs:
- East Bengal Tigers
- Mohun Bagan Athletic Club
- Chachi and Brothers
- Jay's City Frock Wearers Football Club
- Mama - Miya Sporting
- Manchester Automobiles United Football Club
- Punjabi Bankers
- Sa - Re - Ga - Ma Cowboys
- Shillong Last - Long
- Train - Spotting Club of Goa
Last Updated on 08/28/2012