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By Jonathan Lewis | 9th May 2023
While India has long been recognized as a nation with an insatiable appetite for cricket, it’s important to acknowledge that football has also captured the hearts of millions of Indians.
Recent studies indicate that there are over 37 million football enthusiasts in India, and this number continues to grow at an impressive rate.
As a result, interest in the sport, particularly in the English Premier League (EPL), has reached new heights. Interestingly, football’s popularity in India has extended beyond the realm of mere fandom. It has also become a favorite sport for online betting in India.
The accessibility of online betting platforms has only added to football’s allure, with fans eagerly anticipating matches and eagerly participating in the excitement.
So how has football managed to gain such a stronghold in a nation so enamored with cricket? Let’s take a closer look at the factors that have contributed to the sport’s growing popularity in India.
The Rise of the English Premier League in India
The English Premier League is one of the most popular football leagues in the world, with a global fan base of over 3.5 billion people. In India, the league has a massive following, with millions of people tuning in every week to catch their favorite teams in action.
The popularity of the EPL in India can be attributed to several factors.
First and foremost, the league is home to some of the biggest and most iconic football clubs in the world, including Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal. These clubs have a huge fan following in India, and their matches are broadcast live on TV, making it easy for fans to catch all the action.
Secondly, the quality of football played in the EPL is second to none. With some of the best players in the world, the league offers fans a chance to watch some of the most exciting and thrilling matches in football.
More Reasons Why Football is Gaining More Traction
The Indian government has taken steps to encourage the growth of football in the country. In 2018, the government launched a program called Khelo India, which aims to promote sports at the grassroots level and identify young talent across the country.
Football is now one of the key sports included in the program, which provides funding for training, coaching, and facilities to support young athletes.
In addition to the growing popularity of the EPL, there has been a rise in interest in other football leagues around the world.
La Liga, the Spanish football league, has also gained a significant following in India, thanks in part to the success of teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona, who have won numerous international titles in recent years.
The Bundesliga, Germany’s top football league, has also started to gain traction, with its fast-paced, attacking style of football attracting fans in India.
Another reason for the rise in football’s popularity in India is the increasing success of the national team.
The Indian football team, nicknamed the Blue Tigers, has been improving in recent years and has started to attract more attention from fans. In 2019, the team reached its highest FIFA world ranking in over two decades.
The Impact of Social Media
Social media has played a major role in the rise of the EPL in India. With the increasing popularity of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, fans now have more ways than ever to connect with their favorite football teams and players.
Football clubs have recognized the importance of social media in reaching out to fans, and have invested heavily in their social media presence. They use platforms like Twitter and Instagram to share behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with players, and updates on team news.
The Future of Football in India
The future of football in India looks bright, with more and more people taking an interest in the sport. The Indian Super League (ISL), the country’s premier football league, has also helped raise the profile of the sport in the country.
The ISL has attracted some of the biggest names in football, including Diego Forlan and Nicolas Anelka. The league has also helped nurture homegrown talent, with many young Indian players getting a chance to play alongside international stars.
In conclusion, the popularity of football, particularly the English Premier League, has been on the rise in India in recent years.
With the sport becoming more accessible to people from all walks of life and the impact of social media, the future of football in India looks bright.
As more and more Indian players make their mark on the world stage, it’s only a matter of time before India becomes a football powerhouse in its own right.
Jonathan Lewis is an MFF sports writer
Source : MyFootballFacts