More attractive than Brazil
All forms of support that football fans in Europe, especially in the UK, are decrying and criticizing for game ruin are enriched in India. Because of that, a difference between the passion of exploiting endless profits of economists, oil tycoons, billionaires who want to use football to profit against a young football background is trying hard to build the image.
Football in India and their fans are still very carefree and innocent. So when ISL suddenly became the name of attention, the heathen also began to notice and analyze this “market”.
The opening match drew 65,000 fans to Salt Lake Stadium during Atletico’s match against Mumbai City. The number of viewers watching on the TV is 74 million 700 thousand people. Particularly the first week, the tournament attracted all 170 million 600 thousand people. The ISL official website has 16 million views of videos coming back throughout the tournament. The whole site alone has 28 million 700 thousand visits.
The hashtags that have become the most used trend on Indian Twitter are all about football, like #ISLfie, #letsfootball, #fatafatifootball. In all, there are 1 million 800 conversations on Twiter and Facebook talking about ISL. The semi-final between Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters drew 1 million 100 online video followers, the highest rate of any sport in India.
Merging I-League and ISL?
In fact, the official Indian tournament recognized by FIFA is now the I-league. But with the growing spread of ISL, does the Indian football federation (AIFF) need to rethink? Fans are talking about the plan to merge ISL with I-League not only to attract the audience for the Premier League but also to increase the commercial value for Indian football.
However, Novy Kapadia, an Indian football analyst, disagrees with this opinion. Perhaps AIFF or its fans should wait to see how long ISL maintains its appeal and transparency.