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Will Indian Super League (ISL) be a game changer?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 8:50am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

With Bollywood and cricket bigwigs buying football teams in the Indian Super League (ISL), many feel that the sport will get the required ‘kick’ it was awaiting since decades. Will ISL help change the face of Indian football? dna explores...

Interest is there in sports, impetus is needed
The under-17 2017 World Cup Football will be held in India. Hence the Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament will help generate interest in the nation towards the sport. ISL will give our players an opportunity to play with foreign players and this will help them get the best out of them. It is high time that India start taking football and other sports seriously, instead of just concentrating on cricket. The national football team is still languishing at 145 world ranking, because the country lacks inspiration towards football. The interest in football is hugely seen in today’s younger generation. In Pune alone, we have over 170 football teams, which shows that interest is not lacking but impetus is needed. 
Mathew Susainathan, football coach, Mathew Football Academy 

The league will take the game to a higher level 
It is the beginning of a new era for football in India. The league is a good sign. According to me, if the league was organised ages ago, the standard of this game would have been on a higher level. The league is good for our players as they will get a chance to rub their shoulders with international players. This in turn will take the game to new heights. I am sure that that ISL will appeal to people at large. Our footballers will share the platform with players from around the world which will be a treat for Indian football fans. 
Maria Rebello, referee

ISL should not becomescandalous like IPL
The commercial exercise of ISL is a good idea and it will surely give more exposure to football in the country, where cricket overshadows everything. Our players will get a chance to play with international players. However in ISL we have to make sure that Indian players are given more opportunity than international players. For example in Pune team, there should be more players from Pune involved than that from outside. It should not be the tragedy that happened with the IPL, wherein when lot of money gets involved it starts becoming scandalous. In India every big work starts on a good note but in the long run it becomes a racket. I fear the same should not happen with ISL. The ISL should be managed properly right from the beginning. We welcome the format and are happy that something like it is happening. Surprisingly big names from Bollywood and cricket field are getting involved. Everyone has started knowing that India in Asia is a big market for football. 
Wilson Andrew, football player and coach 

ISL will give the necessary boost to the sport
It is a positive move to help the game in the country on the IPL format. It will definitely benefit the players and popularise the game in India. There has to some commercialisation element to help the players get better opportunity. Everybody knows that India is not doing good as far as football is concerned. Probably this will give the necessary boost to the talent in the country. In India, football is more popular among the younger generation in schools, colleges and those who have played football in the past. The general public is still not attracted towards the sport the way they are to cricket. Probably ISL will change the situation. The ISL platform will help our players to interact with international players and this could be a new beginning. It is time that the country goes beyond cricket and starts taking football seriously. 
Ignatius Peter, coach, St Vincent College of Commerce 

The league will not help in development of the sport 
The league will definitely generate interest in the game but I doubt it will do anything towards it’s development. The league will be played for two months and it is not enough to promote the game among the players. Football players need 7-8 months of regular playing and practice. In the ISL every team will have six international players in the starting 11 and the rest 5 will be Indians, which gives little opportunity for the Indian talent. The two month league will be a commercial exercise and the intention is to make money. 
Vikas Atri, Football enthusiast

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