Category Archives: Opinion

Indian Super League Season 3 Preview : Chennaiyin FC

Here we go with the 2nd preview on Chennayin FC.

Chennaiyin FC coached by Marco Materazzi is the current champions of Indian Super league. Starting from the 1st season, Chennayin FC has a great record in the ISL. In the 1st season, they finished top in the league table and qualified for the playoffs. Materazzi will be hoping to replicate the same feat even this season. However, things will be quite different for Chennayin this season as they will miss out on two crucial players they had for the last two seasons. Marquee player Elano who scored 12 goals for the team in the last two seasons and was pulling strings in the midfield with his deft touches and freekicks will be sorely missed by the team. Same with Stiven Mendoza, the Colombian liver wire who has scored 17 goals for the franchise in the last two seasons has joined Newyork City FC in the MLS. It will have to be seen how the team copes up with these departures.

Another notable thing Chennayin has done prior to this season is that they signed on 5 AIFF academy graduates  – Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Baoringdao Bodo and Bedashwor Singh. We will have to see if any of these players will find a regular place in the line-up since they are quite young to be blooded in a league where there is so much at stake. However, this is a great gesture from the franchise and the boys  are bound to learn a lot training under Marco and the other senior players in the team.

Now, let’s go ahead and analyze the different departments of the team.

GK: Duwayne Kerr, Karanjith Singh, Pawan Kumar

Duwayne Kerr is a Jamaican goalkeeper, who has played in Norway and Iceland. He is a very dominating big figure in the box. If Marco decides o play an Indian GK, Karanjith with his immense experience will be the choice. Pawan Kumar who has played for Bengaluru FC earlier and was part of Mumbai FC will be definitely an able back up!

Defenders : Abhishek Das (RB),  Bernard Mendy(RB), Dhanachandra Singh (LB), Eder (CD), Elie Sabia (CB), Riise, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Nallapan Mohanraj (RB).

We will mostly see Mendy being partnered with Riise in the middle of the defense, other central defending options are the new signings Eli Sabia, and Eder, who had a stint with Salgaocar in the I-league. Wadoo had a great season for Chennaiyin last time around and he will most probably the pick for RB.  Dhanachandra Singh who was a mainstay for the team in the last season will be the pick for LB.

Mid : Zakker Mundampara, Baljit Sahni, Dhanpal Ganesh, Manuel Blassi, Hans Mulder, Raphael Augusto, Siam Hangal and Thoi Singh

Hans Mulder, the Dutch footballer who gave a good account of himself in the last two editions of ISL for Delhi Dynamos is the new foreign recruit in the mid-field line up. Manuel Blassi and Raphael Augusto were a constant presence in Chennaiyin’s lineup last year, and this year I expect one of them to sit out and Hans Mulder taking that place. The Indian line up with Zakkeer, Dhanpal, Siam Hangal and Thoi Singh looks quite formidable too. However, i feel the midfield line-up esepcially the Indian contigent lacks in creativity and this could pose a serious threat for CFC.

Forwards : Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Davide Succi, Jayesh Rane, Jeje, Dudu, Maurizio Peluso, Uttam Rai.

Now, this is going to be a real problem area for Chennaiyin. As we mentioned earlier, MENDOZA WILL BE MISSED. Instead of him Materazzi has decided to bring in two Italian attackers.  Davide Succi and Maurizio Peloso. Succi is a 34 year old forward who has played for teams like Chievo, Palermo and Bologna, with pretty good conversion rate as well. Maurizio Peluso seems to be an attacker who plays mainly on the wings and has played in the lower divisions of the Italian league. Dudu is the other forward and he doesn’t need any introduction. He has been playing in India for a long time now and is pretty prolific as well. It will have to be seen if these new recruits can fill Mendoza’s shoes. Coming to the Indian contingent, Jeje is the standout name here. He had a very good season with Chennayin FC last year and would be hoping to replicate the same kind of form this season as well. Daniel is a highly rated forward who plays for BFC but he is going to miss some action due to BFC’s AFC Cup commitments. Jayesh Rane who plays for Mumbai FC had a good season with Chennaiyin last time around will be hoping to pitch in with some goals this season. Uttam Rai is a highly rated forward who plays for Dempo Sports Club. When he burst onto the scene, he was quite a sensation and but he did not live up to that hype after that.

On the whole, this team looks pretty decent but as we said, it will have to be really seen if they can replicate the same form they managed in the first two seasons. And I feel, Chennaiyin will miss out on the playoffs this season! Yes, you heard it right! :)

Listen to this preview on Youtube :

Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai FC aftermath -Abusive Chants – Ok or Not Ok?

Abuse, Chants, Football, Bengaluru, Bangalore, Mumbai, Bengaluru FC, bottle, thrown, incident, Khalid Jamil, Ashley Westwood, fine, Verdict, Pradyum Reddy, Amoes, Gowtham PuraAIFF has pronounced its verdict on what transpired in Bengaluru during the Bengaluru FC vs Mumbai FC match. A lot has been discussed on the social media and other forums about the conduct of the fans and officials.

Now that the verdict is out, we are publishing a short note from a person who is closely connected to football in Bangalore. He knows the Bangalore football scene very well and this is his take on whether the fans should indulge in abusive chants and if so what is the limit. He wish to remain anonymous, so we are not going to publish his name.

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This write up is after the BFC vs. Mumbai FC game in Kanteerava stadium, which ended in a 1-1 draw. I decided to write this for all the fans who have been supporting their club to the best, but also indulge in abusing and use foul language on opponents and their staff.

My friends and I sat in west block A to watch the game and as the players entered, there were cheers and claps for players of BFC, which was a nice thing. Once the Mumbai FC players entered the field and as the game kicked off, I was kind of feeling very bad to hear abuses being hurled at Khali Jamil and their player right from the start whistle. Families who turned up with their kids for the match were feeling discomfort because of the abusive nature of the chants and I did even see some families who had come for the match moving away from the crowd.

Come on, are we cheering the club and encouraging them or the fans wants to just have fun abusing and using foul language on the opponents and coaches, make them furious and in the end get to see what happened in that game?

India is not a country where football is the richest game unlike cricket. If it were, then no one would even bother about all the nonsense people talk. Most of the clubs in India are run with less funds, no proper facilities, unlike a professional setup like BFC who has made huge investments and provide best facilities for players to perform to their best. Most clubs do not even pay salaries to players on a regular basis and not all football players are from well-to-do families to let go everything. Most players are struggling to live a good life and they have to struggle and sacrifice a lot to play in our top tier league – I-league.

Let us also not to forget that BFC is one of the first corporate entities to have invested in Indian football, and they have all the means to provide the best facilities for players to perform well, which is very much appreciated, but that doesn’t mean fans who go to watch matches abuse and insult other clubs and players who are struggling every year to sign good players and form a decent team to play in the league.

Most of the clubs are operating with a much lesser budget/investment than that of BFC. Mumbai FC was about to be shut down like Mahindra United and had not signed a single player even when they had just one month for the deadline as they couldn’t rope in a sponsor for the club. Finally, after roping in a sponsor, they mostly signed players who were either rejected by other clubs and a few were retained from their previous squad.

They struggle so much and though being an underdog club, when they take on most clubs, they still manage to put in decent to good performances. In all their four matches against BFC before this, they managed a draw and I consider that a commendable feat.

Therefore, how the fans behave in stadiums is what the outcome they get too. Abusing, provoking and using foul language on players and coaches for no reason would definitely leave anyone angered and flustered. The composition of players in I-league is seeing a drastic change now. We have some foreigners who have played world cup for their nations. Abusing and taunting players of such stature does not hold good for our football. We have to learn from better players and start playing good football because football should not end just with clubs. It has to take Indian football to higher standards.

Go out in large numbers to support BFC but never indulge in abusing or insulting opponents. We may never know the struggle of the club and the players are undergoing to keep them going at this level.

Football can become a popular game in any country only when there are more number of people attending matches and if that has to happen, the fans who go the to cheer the teams should cheer good football . When I mean good football, even if the away team plays fair and good football we should have the heart to appreciate that too. Now, if cheering or appreciating the opponent team is difficult, let us not indulge in mindless abuse. Let us all enjoy the beautiful game in a beautiful way.

In 2013 Social Media brings fans even more closer to the Sport

Social Media, Sports, Football, India, Indianfootball, Soccer, Kerala, Winter Olympics, Shiv KeshavanWe have been hearing about social media, the role it supposedly played in protests, revolutions and some times even in regime changes. But what happens in sports, especially in India? While all the international sporting events do trend on Social Media, here in India with the surge of smart phones, a quiet revolution is taking place.

Social media has helped the enthusiast to be closer to the action. For instance take football, we are at point where we could track state league matches happening in Mizoram or Arunachal and at the same time listen to some quirky over the top rumors of  foreign players that are going to play in the I-league.

The only struggle is to the be in the right network. And If you are in, bits and pieces of information, multimedia in pictures and even videos would dot your timeline. And that is how the unfortunate gallery collapse video from Bekal, Kerala went viral world wide.

On 15th December before a seven a side match, the gallery collapsed. There were innumerable people filming a small kid juggling football on the ground and there the gallery sunk in like a houdini act taking down 100s of people. Within hours the video was up on youtube being watched and shared by many. Eventually we saw it appear on Telegraph.co.uk!

Pictures, score updates, posters of upcoming matches, almost everything that you need is on social media today when it comes to football. There are also Clubs, players, administrators and media on social media who intervenes in the streams of conversation on sports.

The sports educationists are in there too. Academies, schools, Training camps, all of them are using social media to engage and publicize their efforts.

There are lively communities and discussion boards where not so gracious people fight over and also have meaningful discussion on the sport. There are #hashtags that you can follow to stay updated on sports. For football in India, #Indianfootball and #ileague offers constant stream of information.

The real attraction is also about getting to know the sport in your backyard. A Seven-a-side football fan from Kerala can stay updated himself through scores, pictures and videos on the go. Sporting attractions which were largely local and not in the mainstream gets more traction through social media, there by increasing the interest of people.

Social actions such as crowd funding and crowd sourcing could be a good way forward for sports in India. The recent example of Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan is a move in that direction. Mobile data and applications such as Whatsapp and other messengers are also helping the fans and supporters  to engage real time.

While we mainly track football we have also come across fan pages and twitter profiles for other sports too. Social media is forging a new way in India for sports, it has changed the way enthusiasts enjoy their sport.