The Indian Super League has started with much glitz, glamour and fanfare. Packed stadiums in Kolkata and Guwahati, high television and online viewership, and the general buzz around this tournament is making it appear like football’s answer to the IPL as far as India is concerned.
But, what is the word on the street for the ISL? Below are questions asked and answered by Quora users.
“Yesterday’s match was far better than any I-League match I have ever seen. Media coverage is great, there was significant build-up to the competition. The presence of stars from Europe (even if past their glory days) will get these people watching.” – Akilesh Radhakrishnan
“Just as USA have done, I believe the baby steps of ISL should be to make it retirement league for legends. Pay them higher money and let them spend a few years here.” – Rooshin Solanki
“Opening Ceremony was pretty good, despite of Priyanka [Chopra].” – Neetish Tiwari
But a for those who are used to watching European football regularly, it was a little underwhelming.
“Let me first remind you that I am not an expert. That being said, I think the quality of the game is not up to the mark as compared to what we are used to watching on TV. Also the commentary is weird, for lack of a better word.” – Harsh Singh
Another user asked if the ISL was appealing to watch. As with most things new, one tends to at least check out what the event is all about. One negative brought out from the answers though, was the screen time afforded to the Bollywood folks.
“YES the ISL does appeal to me … the players didn’t disappoint either… of course the level of football is a long way from what we are use to ( EPL fan here ). I guess the presence of celebrities, corporates, the marquee players, MONEY and most importantly LIMELIGHT would do a great deal in promoting Indian football.” – Akshay Saseendran
“If I was to rate it’s appeal on a scale of 10. I’d rate it in the region of around 6 or 7. I’m quite sure that this rating will hit its peak as the seasons wear on.” – Kaustubh Pandey
“Yes ISL is quite appealing to me because it’ll do lot of good for Indian football. Though ISL is doing good by promoting football across the nation I still don’t like the limelight they are giving to Bollywood actors.” – Jitesh Jhirwal
Q. What are the things that ISL (Indian Super League) shouldn’t do that IPL (Indian Premier League) did?
The ISL is an attempt to package a football tournament like the IPL did with cricket. Only differences are that the game rules haven’t changed, there aren’t any ‘Strategic Timeouts’, and the constant restating of this tournament being all ‘about the youth of India’.
“Reshuffling of players every few seasons! I found it unbelievably stupid to scramble to find a team to support after every few seasons in the IPL because well, the team that I supported earlier wasn’t the same team anymore!” – Nisheeth Agarwal
“Mixing Bollywood with the game. Although a few team owners are Bollywood celebrities but they should not bring their circus on the field.” – Naman Bajpai
“Avoid Cheerleaders! The football should be interesting enough for the audience to glue themselves to their seats for 90 minutes of playtime.” – Saurav Nandi
“ISL has an advantage over IPL due to the fact that unlike IPL, the ISL will not have a dumbed down version of the sport in which it is involved. The players involved in ISL will still have to display some serious football skills.” – Abhilash R Nair
The ISL backed by the AIFF, Star and Reliance-IMG has pushed back the start of the I-league season to December. Some raise their concerns while others think the ISL is good for the I-league.
“The same way IPL has affected Ranji Trophy. Both will go along without benefiting much. I doubt the star names will play in the I League. Yes the youth footballers might get to learn from the stars of ISL, but two months in a year will hardly do much good. That is in fact the irony and sad truth about ISL. It is more about entertainment and less about football. and that is the harsh truth.” – Chandrajoy Sarkar
“I guess I-League is here to stay … AIFF cannot select Indian players into its national side based on two month performance … ISL is a blessing in disguise for I-League because after December the I-League will run throughout the year. Indian players will learn better skills in ISL because of working with world class coaches and will make I-League more competitive.” – Nikhil Jadhav
“It actually generates interest in football. You’re going to get a much larger spotlight on the I-League because people will realise that they’d much rather see a greater representation from Indian players in the ISL.” – Tanmay VS