Monthly Archives: October 2015

India Football Forum 2015 makes grand debut in Mumbai

India Football Forum 2015, Indian Football, Star Sports, Football, Soccer, India,  Sports, Industry, Mumbai

 

MUMBAI, 30th October 2015: Stakeholders in the growing Indian sports industry unanimously agree that the appetite for football in India is definitely on the rise though there are numerous challenges which have to be overcome before its full potential can be realised.

Senior professionals from the sports and broadcast industry deliberated on the multiple opportunities in the football sector at the Star Sports Indian Football Forum 2015 titled: “Taking Indian Football Higher, Deeper, Wider”, held in Mumbai on 29 October 2015.

The day-long conference revolved around various Knowledge Sessions such as:

  • Governance & Management– Faster Growth, Higher Visibility, Stronger Management
  • Maximising Fan Experience– Getting It Right on Air and In Stadia
  • Internet & Mobile Keys To Experiential Nirvana– Connecting To the Consumer in a Fast Evolving Media Landscape
  • Corporate Social Opportunity– The Business Potential in Grassroots Outreach

Established in 2010, the India Football Forum, the flagship property of the SportzPower Knowledge Series (SKS), brings together some of the best minds in the industry on one platform for what is the definitive conference on the business of football in this market. Additionally, to improve the overall presentation and profile of the conference, SportzPower has partnered Mumbai-based Event Capital to deliver this edition

A stellar grouping of industry stalwarts such as Nitin Kukreja, President Sports, STAR India; Ronnie Screwvala, Founder, U Sports; Peter Leible, Chief Representative Asia Pacific DFL Sports Enterprises; and Santosh Desai, MD & CEO, Future Brands, spoke on the various factors that indicate the rapid strides made by football, and the initiatives required to take it to the next level.

In his keynote address, Mr Nitin Kukreja, President Sports, STAR India, said that while merging I-League and ISL would solve much of the logistical chaos currently reigning in the Indian football calendar, no concrete progress has been made towards that. He also stressed on the need for schools and colleges to participate in the sport in a structured manner in order to allow a footballing culture to develop on a larger scale, especially in North and West India where the sport does not have much popularity.

Mr Peter Leible, Chief Representative Asia Pacific of DSL Sports Enterprises, who drew a parallel to the recent period of revival in German football to provide context to the Indian experience, said a similar widespread initiative, with emphasis on clubs doing their bit on the grassroots and academy side of things, could lead to a uniform growth of football in India though “patience” is the key criteria while implementing such programmes.

U Sports founder Ronnie Screwvala, in conversation with Conference Chair, Ayaz Memon, said that with ISL, the changes are positive in Indian football, but there needs to be an effort to develop the game at the grassroots level to actually help improve the standards of Indian football.

Adding heft to the knowledge delivery at this year’s IFF were two cutting edge case study presentations by ESP Properties and Repucom International.

Other experts who shared their views during interactions in the multiple Knowledge Sessions included:

  • Supratik Sen, CEO and Co-Founder, U Sports
  • Vinit Karnik, National Director – Entertainment, Sports &Live Events, ESP Properties
  • Gaurav Gokhale, Business Head, Football at Star India
  • Srinivasan Gopalkrishnan, AVP Marketing & Commercial – Football Sports Development Limited (ISL)
  • Joy Bhattacharyja – Project Director, 2017 U-17 World Cup
  • Indranil Das Blah, CEO, Mumbai City FC & COO, CAA Kwan
  • Ravi Chavan, Vice-President – South Asia, Repucom International
  • Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports Pvt Ltd.
  • Neetu Bhatia, Co-Founder & CEO, Kyazoonga
  • Nikhil Sharma, COO, Anglian Management Group; Director, ShillongLajong FC
  • Neel Shah, Business Director, Libero Sports India
  • Arun Raghu, Co-Founder and Director, Fans On Stands Sports Pvt Ltd
  • Nimish Raut, Country Head, Sports & Events Marketing, Red Bull India
  • Jitendra Joshi – Co-founder, Director, SportzConsult
  • Jaideep Bhatia – Partnerships Consultant, Magic Bus
  • Siddhartha Upadhyay – Founder and Secretary General, STAIRS
  • LV Krishnan – CEO, TAM Media Research
  • Pranesh Krishnamurthy – CEO, The Football Mind
  • Aneesh S Madani – Head Sports Partnerships, Twitter India

India Football Forum 2015 provided a broader perspective and key insights into the opportunities available and challenges that await in what is the most exciting sports and media market in the world at present.

Look back : India’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers from 1998 to 2014

World Cup Qualifiers, FIFA, India, World Cup, Soccer, Baichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, I.M Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, 2014, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010With India’s 2018 World Cup qualification hopes in shambles after the 3-0 loss to Oman on Tuesday, we decided to check and compile India’s performances in world cup qualifiers over the years starting from 1998. There are some interesting results and our best qualifying campaign was for the 2002 world cup. Sukhwinder Singh coached team that had stalwarts like Baichung Bhutia, I.M Vijayan and Jo Paul Ancheri managed some great results in that campaign. Here are the results from the World Cup qualifiers matches that we played from 1998 to 2014.

1998 World Cup :

34 Asian nations took part in the 1998 World Cup qualifiers. India was in Group 10 along with Qatar, Sri Lanka and Philippines.  We managed a win against Philippines, a draw with Sri Lanka and a 6-0 mauling at the hands of Qatar. Nothing to be proud of. Qatar progressed in to the next round as group winners.  Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea represented Asia in the 1998 World Cup that took place in France.

Table :

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Qatar 3 0 0 0 14 0 14 9
2 Sri Lanka 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
3 India 3 1 1 1 3 7 -4 4
4 Philippines 3 0 0 3 0 10 -10 0

Matches :

21-Sep-96
India 2-0 Philippines
Khalifa International Stadium Doha, Qatar
24-Sep-96
 Sri Lanka  1-1 India
Khalifa International Stadium Doha, Qatar
27-Sep-96
Qatar 6-0 India
Khalifa International Stadium Doha, Qatar

2002 World Cup

40 Asian nations took part in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers. India was in Group 08  along with UAE, Yemen and Brunei. This has to be our best qualification campaign in recent past. We managed to defeat UAE at home, held Yemen for a draw and thumped Brunei for a whopping five goals to nil. Coached by Sukhwinder Singh, Indian team finished third in the group. Some positives from the campaign were the home win against Arab giant UAE and the 11 goals we managed score in the campaign. South Korea, Japan (Hosts), Saudi Arabia and China PR represented Asian in the 2002 World Cup.

Table :

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  United Arab Emirates 6 4 0 2 21 5 16 12
2  Yemen 6 3 2 1 14 8 6 11
3 India 6 3 2 1 11 5 6 11
4  Brunei 6 0 0 6 0 28 -28 0

Matches :

8-Apr-01
India 1-0 UAE
 Alberto  71′
Bangalore Stadium, Bangalore

Attendance: 12,000

   15-Apr-01
 India  1-1  Yemen
 Bhutia  53′  Al Ghurbani  43′
Bangalore Stadium, Bangalore

Attendance: 21,000

26-Apr-01
UAE 1-0 India
Khater  63′

Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium,

Al Ain City

Attendance: 12,000

4-May-01
Yemen 3-3 India
Al-Salimi  13′ (p),  20′,  62′ Ancheri  16′,  38′

Vijayan  51′

Althawra Sports City Stadium, San‘a’

Attendance: 25,000

11-May-01
Brunei 0-1 India
Ancheri 75′
Sultan Hassal Bolkiah Stadium, Bandar Seri Begawan
Attendance: 4,000
20-May-01
India 5-0 Brunei
Alberto  12′
Vijayan  23′
Bhutia 35′ (p)
Ancheri  59′
Hakim 80′
Bangalore Stadium, Bangalore
Attendance: 7,000

2006 World Cup

In 2016 AFC introduced a preliminary round in the qualifications. 14 last ranked teams would fight it out in a preliminary round. However, India was not among the 14 last ranked nations and qualified directly to play in Round 2. India was in Group 3 along with Japan, Oman and Singapore. This campaign was nothing short of a disaster for India. This campaign ended Stephen Constantine’s first stint with India. We conceded 16 goals and could only score 2 in the  whole campaign. Stephen Constantine was sacked and Sukhwinder took on the reigns in 2005.

Table :

Rank Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Japan 6 6 0 0 16 1 15 18
2 Oman 6 3 1 2 14 3 11 10
3 India 6 1 1 4 2 18 -16 4
4  Singapore 6 1 0 5 3 13 -10 3

Matches :

18-Feb-04
India 1-0 Singapore
 Alberto  71′
Fatorda Stadium, Margao

Attendance: 28,000

31-Mar-2004
 India  1-1  Oman
Renedy  18′ Amad Ali 12′

Ahmed Mubarak  26′, 49′

Al Hinai 60′, 88′

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi

Attendance: 48,000

9-Jun-04
Japan 7-0 India
Kubo 12′
Fukunishi 25′
Nakamura 29′
Suzuki 54′
Nakazawa 65′, 76′
Ogasawara 68′

Saitama Stadium, Saitama

Attendance:  63,000

8-Sep-04
India 0-4 Japan
Suzuki Goal 45′

Ono 60′
Fukunishi 71′
Miyamoto 87′

Yuva Bharati Krirangan, Bidhannagar

Attendance: 90,000

13-Oct-04
Singapore 2-0 India
 Sahdan Goal 73′
Mohd Goal 76
Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
Attendance: 3,609
17-Nov-04
Oman 0-0 India
Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat
Attendance: 2,000

2010 World Cup

In 2010 AFC introduced seeding for teams in the qualifiers. Seeding for the first two rounds was based each team’s performance during the qualification stage for the previous World Cup. Nations ranked 1-5 after seeding directly qualified for the third round of qualifiers, where as nations ranked 6–43 entered the first round, with teams ranked from 6–24 drawn against teams ranked from 25–43. Bob Houghton coached India was drawn against Lebanon in the first round match that was played in an home and away format. We suffered a 4-1 defeat in the away match at Lebanon but managed to hold them for a draw in Goa. Asutralia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea represented Asia in 2010 World Cup.

Matches :

08-oct-2007
Lebanon 4-1 India
Antar 33′
Ghaddar 62′, 76′
El Ali 63′
Chetri 30′
Saida International Stadium, Saida

Attendance: 500

30-Oct-2007
 India  1-1  Lebanon
Chhetri 29′
Dias 90+2′
Ghaddar 72′ (pen.), 85′
Fatorda Stadium, Goa

Attendance: 10,000

2014 World Cup

For the 2014 World Cup, AFC’s competitions committee decided to follow the same format of 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Teams ranked 1–5 directly qualified to the group stages of qualifiers. Those ranked 6-27 received a bye to the 2nd round of qualification and teams ranked 28-43 played the 1st round of qualification. We received a bye to play in the 2nd round of qualifiers and were pitted against UAE. Armando Colaco had taken over the reigns from Bob Houghton by the time we took on UAE in an away match on 23-July-2011, in we got defeated 3-0.

23-july-2011
UAE 3-0 India
Al Kamali 21′ (pen.)
Al Shehhi 29′ (pen.)
Al Hammadi Goal 81′
Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium, Al Ain
Attendance: 3,179
28-july-2011
 India  2-2  UAE
Jeje 74′
Gouramangi 90+2′
Al Shehhi 40′
Al-Wehaibi 72′
Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi
Attendance: 13,000

Our hopes to qualify for 2018 World Cup are over. Recently we lost 3-0 to Oman and that was our fifth consecutive defeat in this qualifying campaign. For the uninitiated, such bad results are not new for our football team. 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign has also been disrupted because of ISL coinciding with the qualifiers. Let us hope that our team manage to win some upcoming home matches. Mean while, hoping that you enjoyed this compilation of the results from the past.

Guwahati FC raring to go in the 2nd Division I-League

Guwahati FC, Football, Axom Sports, North East, Club, New, Proffesional, Soccer, Friendly, Anthem, Launch, Assam, 2nd division, I-league, Durga Boro, Subhash BhowmickNewly formed club appoints Subhash Bhowmick as Technical Director, will face Mohammedan Sporting in the first match

Guwahati, India:  Newly formed Guwahati FC is raring to go as they prepare for the 2nd Division I-League 2015-16. The club is aiming for promotion to the first tier of Indian football and is leaving no stone unturned in its quest. They have appointed legendary former Indian National player and Coach, Subhash Bhowmick as their Technical Director. Mr Bhowmick has previously managed top clubs such as East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers, Salgaocar among others. He comes on board as a mentor and guide and the team will benefit greatly from his vast experience.

 

Durga Boro, Guwahati FC, Football, Axom Sports, North East, Club, New, Proffesional, Soccer, Friendly, Anthem, Launch, Assam, 2nd division, I-league, Durga Boro, Subhash BhowmickGuwahati FC has also recently successfully held trials for its first team, with some top talent being recruited from top division clubs in India. They have announced the signing of top Assamese attacker, Durga Boro, who will bring a lot of quality to the first team. They will be announcing many more exciting signings in the days to come.

The club will face Mohammedan Sporting in their first match of the 2nd Division I-League on 14th November in Kolkata. The other teams in the Eastern Conference are Neroca FC, Himalayan Gangtok SC and Fateh Hyderabad FC. Three teams will qualify from the Conference for the main Group.

 

The club has recently tied up with Delhi-based Anglian Management Group (AMG) and Brazil’s Clube Atlético Paranaense (CAP) to set up the first international football Academy in North-East India based out of Guwahati. The Academy plans to train a hundred elite youth footballers from various age groups each of the next three years as well as run numerous programmes throughout the year aimed at attracting many more youth to the sport.To kick off their youth programs, they will be competing in the U-18 and U-15 I-League 2015-16 which will start in November.

 

Guwahati FC, which was formed at the end of 2014, aims to establish itself by developing local talent in partnership with AMG and CAP. The club intends to leverage AMG’s international connections and experiences managing football clubs in India and in Europe as well as CAP’s globally-renowned youth football programmes.

“We are looking forward to a great campaign in the 2nd Division I-League and will definitely aim to qualify to the top tier. We will remain passionate and dedicated about the cause of building the sport of football in India from the bottom up, as evidenced by our setting up the Guwahati FC Youth Academy in partnership with Anglian Management Group and Clube Atlético Paranaense.” said Sanjive Narain Co-owner Guwahati FC.

Kerala Blasters – ISL Season II Preview

Kerala Blasters, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India, kochi, Kerala

 

 

Kerala Blasters, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, India

Kerala Blasters had an amazing first season, they exceeded all expectations by reaching the finals of first season. Blighted with ownership issues KBFC remained low key during the ISL auction but picked up some good players in the player draft. They have roped in an experienced Coach in Peter Taylor who will replace David James who was the marquee player/ manger last season. Trevor Morgan, former East Bengal coach remains as the assistant coach.

 

 

Blasters have recruited former Westham Goal Keeper Stephen Bywater, who will replace David James as the foreign keeper this season. Experienced custodian Sandip Nandy and Mohun Bagan goal Keeper Shilton Paul are the other goal keepers in the squad. Bywater will be the first choice keeper, otherwise we will see Sandip Nandy replacing him in the lineup.

 

 

Blasters have recruited former New Castle defender Peter Ramage who is expected to play a crucial role this season. Former Spanish International and World Cup winner Carlos Marchena (Marquee Player), Sandesh Jhinghan and Marcus Williams are the other stand out players in defense.

 

 

In the middle of the park, Blasters have a variety of options. Portuguese player Joao Coimbra and former Barca trained Josu is expected to start in the middle. CK Vineeth with his blistering pace could earn spot on the left. The other options in midfield are Cavin Lobo, Shankar, Mehtab Hussian Ishfaq Ahmed, Pulga and Peter Carvalho.

 

 

The real struggle for Blasters last season was scoring goals. They managed to score only 11 goals last season and out of that 5 were scored by Iain Hume who has then moved on to reigning champions ATK. Management seems to have put in a lot of thought to avoid the goal drought by signing some good talent upfront. The forward line-up of Chris Dagnall, former Arsenal man Sanchez Watt, Antonio German, Mohammed Rafi and Manandeep Singh, is quite a formidable one.

 

 

Blasters conceded only 11 goals last season, the lowest among all the teams. They will be looking to improve upon this record this season. With a great home support, Blasters could again be the surprise package of this season.

Indian Super League Season II – Northeast United FC Team Preview

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North East United takes on Kerala Blasters in their Indian Super League season II inaugural match. Here is a preview of the team from Aditya Shandilya.

North East United, Hero ISL, Indian Super league, Season, 2, II, Football, Soccer, League, IndiaNortheast United FC had a dismal outing in the inaugural season of ISL last year despite starting out well as they finished at the bottom of the table. Though it was hardly a reflection of the talent at their disposal. Their management now had put disappointment behind and rebuild the squad with some good acquisitions. The heart of the highlanders remains the northeastern players as all domestic players are from that region of country.

Starting from the goal post, in Lalthuammawia Ralte of I League runners up Bengaluru FC they notched up a jewel. Ralte appeared in each and every game of BFC this season and managed a lot of clean sheets. Gennaro Bracigliano has been handed a goalkeeping coach cum player role this season. His quality was obvious in ISL 1 with Chennaiyin FC and it provides north eastern club with added options along with their young Kerala born GK T P Rehenesh. They have the advantage of having two good Indian goalkeeper in Ralte and Rehenesh.
In defence they have retained Miguel Garcia and snatched Kerala Blasters FC most reliable defender in ISL 1 Cedric Hengbert. Garcia is the player of the season for Sporting club de Goa this time around and is credible center back. Hengbert and Garcia may come up as a strong defensive wall in, if  they click. Along with them will be Aibor Khongjee who was recently is called for national duty against Iran after his stellar show for Shillong Lajong in I-league. If Farias go for four center back then Robin Gurung , Raju Yumnum and Zohmingliana Ralte have to compete for the spot in opening 11. While Ralte is centre back who is good in the air on the other hand Robin and Yumnum are left back with Yumnum played 16 games for Pune FC last season.
In midfield they have their marquee signing Simao Sabrosa to rely upon and if he still match fit then he can team up with Bruno Arias who switched from Delhi Dynamos. But the pick of the auction for highlanders, Seityasen Singh will be the key  man in midfield if the team have to succeed. His performance in I league for Royal Wahingdoh make him the second best midfielder after Eugeneson Lyngdoh and team’s assistant manager Santosh kashyap will know what Seityasen exactly brings to the team. Sanju Pradhan, Boithang Haokip and Marlingki Suting provide options in the flank alongside Bengaluru FC’s Siam Hangal and Alen Deory. Midfield looks very versatile and experienced as well.
Coming to the forward line, the surprise grab by Northeast United is Nicolas Velez. The Argentine is in tremendous form for Warrior FC of S league by netting 21 goals in 26 appearances. If he can replicate the same showing in ISL then he will turn out to be the buy of the season. In Holicharan Narzary we have a very talented partner who is now pretty successful in the national scene as well. Boubacar Sanogo, their latest signing is also a goal machine, he may not be at his best but provides much needed experience in forward line while Ghana’s Francis Dadzie is also a young prolific striker in good form. This makes North East’s forward line a formidable one.
So now it is up to NEUFC to come out all guns blazing in Indian Super League.

Ratings :

 

Goalkeeper : 

8

 

 

They have picked good foreign and a best Indian goalkeeper and so there is less to worry on this front.

 

Defence : 6

They are short on options as far as foreign players are concerned. Injury to any of them will be a huge concern.

Midfield : 7

 

They will rely lot on their marquee player Simao Sabrosa and Seityasen Singh. These players have to perform for highlanders to succeed. Seityasen is key between their transition between defense and attack and as he has been in good form recently.

Forward : 7

 

They have the players who can score goals but lack of Indian players up front may cause problem in cramped tournament like this. Injury to Holicharan Narzary  is injured and this could disrupt their plans. His timely recovery is important for Cesar Farias’s team.

Coach:
As far as Cesar Farias is concerned, the ex Venezuela coach have a reputation of bringing less fancied squad to the top as coach of Venezuela junior and senior teams. His assistant Santosh Kashyap also made his name during his stint at Royal Wahingdoh during last I league season. Both

believes in strong midfield so they may go for 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 formation.

Formation & starting line-up : 4-4-2 or 3-4-3

 

Ralte, Garcia, Aibor, Raju, Hengbert, Simao, Bruno, Seityasen, Sanju Pradhan, Holicharan, Nicolas

 

Player to watch:

 

Nicolas velez. He is well acclaimed striker as of now and many Asian clubs will be keeping a keen eye on him. Easily makes him the most important player for Northeast United. Last time around highlanders struggled due to their lack of goals, mainly due to the failure of James Keene and Durga Boro. Hopefully Velez will step-up and make up for the paucity of goals for North East United.

Unpredicatbale as it can get – Indian Super League Season II Preview!

ISL Season II Preview

 

ISL is as unpredictable as it can get, says Saji Pillai. Read on.

Indian Super League became the fortune changer of the Indian football from the first season itself. This became the fifth popular league in the world and first in Asia according to number of viewers watched that in stadium. It turned out to be most complicated league in the world as there is no hot favorite, any team can be champions. The results of the matches have been quite unpredictable.

Summary and chances of teams are detailed :

 

Atletico De Kolkata: Team shows professionalism and with their marquee player Helder Postiga they will advance well in the league. But retaining the championship is going to be difficult for them. Primarily because of two reasons. All other teams have strengthened up this season, and have also brought in much younger players. Hume will fuel their attacks and fill the void of Fikru.

 

Kerala Blasters: Last season KBFC appeared with a weak team and surprised every other fancied teams with their ground support. This time they have a well balanced team filled with young blood. Most of their overseas players are from England and some of them have EPL expreience. In Carlos Marchena they have a veteran marquee player. Fuelled by their great ground support KB will turn out to be a nightmare to play against for all teams this season too.

 

Chennayin FC: According to me, Chennayin FC was the best team previous year. They lost the service of Djemba Bjemba but have added couple of more quality foreigners that will boost their performance and they will be a great threat this season too.

 

Delhi Dynamos: Strongest team on paper with some big names. Malouda and Riise will still pose threat against any team. Apart from them, the team doesn’t look to be a great one. This paucity of quality could be a constraint for their ambitions.

 

FC Pune City: The best team this season according to me. But veteran players will be prone to injuries and this could hamper their chances.

 

Mumbai city FC: Do not fancy much chance for them, but they can upset anybody on their day. Anelka and Sunil Chhetri combination will be a treat to watch.

 

North east united FC: North East United have made some great signings this season. The team comprising former Portuguese international Simão Sabrosa, Senagalese striker Diomansy Kamara and a host of Indian players from NEUFC will look to improve upon their performance from last season.

 

FC Goa: Zico managed FC Goa has a host of Brazilian players in their ranks including former Brazil international Lucio. For me, this team looks the weakest. But Zico is a highly experienced coach and has cherry picked his team for this season and it might just click for them.

 

Parting Shot : ISL season will be unpredictable. Every team has strengthened and no in special. Anyone can become the champion.