Tag Archives: I-league

Soccer Pill Hangout on Indian football

Thanks to Vikram Venkateswaran and Kunal Mehta, I was offered a chance to appear on the 10th episode of Soccer Pill Google hangout on the opening day of I-league. I appeared on their great show and talked about Indian Football in general and the I-league season that just started off.

It was a great experience to be part of the show and voice my opinions on Indian football.  Watch all other episodes of Soccer Pill hangout here.  Watch the episode on Indian Football and let us know what you think of it.

Pune FC and Salgaocar register wins in Airtel I-league

I-League_logo.svgNew season of Airtel I-league got off to an exciting start today with Pune FC and Salgaocar FC registering wins.  The match between Sporting Clube de Goa and Mumbai FC ended in a stalemate.

Results from the opening day are as follows :

Pune FC  Vs   Mohammedan Sporting  (3-1)

Salgaocar Vs Churchill Brothers (1-0)

Mumbai FC  Vs Sporting Clube de Goa  (1-1)

Quality foreigners dot I-league this season

Image Courtesy : http://i-league.org

Image Courtesy : http://i-league.org

Many say I-league has lost its sheen, it is not a viable package and so on. While all the criticism lingers on and some of them being true,  it has to be said that this season’s I-league has attracted a formidable array of foreign imports.

Some years ago, foreign players mostly came from Africa and then on, some from Brazil. But were they good enough for the salary they were being paid here?  I am unsure about that aspect. However, clubs have moved on from their traditional hunting grounds in Africa and Brazil and is recruiting decent players from Australia, Europe, Middle East and Asia now.

This season’s I-league has a former world cup player,  some players who plied their trade in EPL and lower division English leagues and some from Spain and Portugal.  Quality attracts eye-balls too.  For instance, Bengaluru FC has recruited Ashley Westwood as their coach. He started his career as a Manchester United academy player and went on to don coaching roles at Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn. His pedigree certainly helped in getting  sky-sports interested about his Indian assignment at Bengaluru FC.  Skysports reporting about an I-league coach would  have been unthinkable a few years ago.

While there has been passing remarks in the media about the foreigners in I-league this season, there has been no comprehensive report about them anywhere.  Withstanding the question on how they will help Indian Football develop, as a package I-league does need good foreign imports to raise the quality of football.

Today TOI has taken some time out and has written a decent article about the foreign imports in I-league this season – Influx of quality foreign players on the upswing

Airtel I-league kicks off today

I-League_logo.svgA  brand new season of I-league is here. 13 teams across India will fight it out the premier league of the country. Check the squads of all the participating teams here.

The matches from the opening weekend are as follows :

21-Sep-13 Mohammedan Sporting Club Pune FC 3:00 PM
21-Sep-13 Mumbai FC Sporting Clube de Goa 4:00 PM
21-Sep-13 Churchill Brothers SC Salgaocar FC 4:00 PM
22-Sep-13 United Sports Club Rangdajied United FC 2:45 PM
22-Sep-13 Bengaluru FC McDowell Mohun Bagan A.C 4:00 PM
22-Sep-13 Dempo Sports Club Shillong Lajong FC 4:00 PM

Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood featured in skysports.com

Image Courtesy : http://i-league.org

Image Courtesy : http://i-league.org

Indian football aficionados are in a delirium after news broke out that Airtel is sponsoring I-League. Before the euphoria settles, we at Football News India wants to share yet another incredible piece of news – Bengaluru FC coach Asley Westwood is featured in skysports.com

There has been quite a buzz about Bengaluru FC, the new entrant to I-league. We have heard our national team captain Sunil Chhetri saying that European standards are set at the club but we never got to know the finer details. Well, this interview brings out the kind of initiatives that Bengaluru FC is bringing to the table.

Sample this :  “We had to get over to them really that this isn’t Indian football as it was in the past where they are used to bringing in their bag, dropping it by the side of the field, doing your two hours, then picking your bag up to go home and that’s it – you’re a footballer for two hours a day. We’ve had to get them to understand they are a footballer 24 hours a day. We supply the top heart-rate monitors, we’ve got recovery monitors and sleep monitors. We give them protein shakes and electrolyte drinks. We have breakfast together an hour before training. We have lunch together and supply four chefs at the lads’ apartment where they all live together.

Read the excellent piece put together by skysports scribe Adam Bate :  Indian adventure

Airtel to sponsor I-league

airtel-logo-1In a surprising and hugely positive move Airtel has been roped in as the title sponsor of I-league!

Here is not short note from AIFF on Airtel’s decision to sponsor I-league : Airtel roped in as I-League’s Title Sponsor

I-league to start off with no telecast and title sponsor

I-League_logo.svgI-league will kick off this Saturday but there is no confirmation on the telecast and title sponsor.  Even though AIFF published an article on their website saying that fans would be able to watch the season opener between Churchill Brothers vs Salgaocar FC, broadcaster Ten Action has not so far put up the schedules on their website.

If you are to go by available reports, there will be no telecast for the 1st round of matches. Supposedly the broadcaster has not been able to recce of the stadiums so far and they are going to do it at the earliest.

I-league will also be without a title sponsor this season as well. IMG-Reliance, the marketing partners of AIFF have been striving to rope-in  a sponsor but so far that efforts have not been fruitful.

From the battle field – Amad Ahmad Al Kaddour from Syria plays for Churchill Brothers

Image Courtesy : dnaindia.com

Image Courtesy : dnaindia.com

Syrian footballer Amad Ahmad Al Kaddour has signed for Churchill Brothers for the upcoming season of I-league. The talented forward spoke to DNA about the ongoing civil strife in his nation. He is from Aleppo, a city which has been featuring in international news very often these days as it it a city where fierce battle between the opposition and Syrian Army is taking place.

While football is the top sport in Syria, the ongoing civil strife has forced footballers to move abroad to ply their trade. He recounted the horror of getting hit by missiles and gunfire while practicing in Aleppo.

Read more : Syrian football striker Amad Ahmad Al Kaddour urges Indians to pray for the safety of his family back home




Bengaluru Football stadium to get flood lights

Bengaluru_FC_LogoPrior to their very first I-league match, new entrant Bengaluru FC briefed media about their plans to attract fans to the Bangalore stadium by providing a class experience.

The stadium is being repainted and bucket seats will be coming up in a while.  Plans are also made to install temporary flood lights by the second half of the season.

Ashley Westwood the coach of the team sounded optimistic about the team’s chances in the upcoming season and stressed that the team is devoid of any injuries.

Arbor Brewing company, a micro brewery situated just outside the Bangalore stadium is announced as the pub partner of the club. You can either watch team playing at the stadium or down a few specially brewed pitchers at the pub and then head to the stadium or even watch the clubs’ matches at the  pub itself. The pub will also sell Bengaluru FC merchandise.

It is also learnt that the club has a tie up with the city FM channel Radio City.

Mustafa Ghouse, CEO of the club also discussed about the ticketing strategies and the tie up with online ticketing partners bookmyshow.com that we reported yesterday.

Bengaluru FC I-League match tickets available on Bookmyshow.com

Bengaluru_FC_LogoTickets for the I-league matches of Bengaluru FC that will take place at the Sri Kanteerava Stadium is now available for purchase on bookmyshow.com.

Tickets are definitely affordable and starts from Rs. 40 and the costliest one priced at Rs.1200.

This is a  great initiative to attract fans from the IT city, who also wouldn’t want to take the hassles of purchasing tickets at the stadium counter.


Buy I-League match tickets Bengaluru FC :  Bookmyshow

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