The year 2023 has proven that Asian football can be big. When Cristiano Ronaldo made the big move to the Saudi Arabia league, it would easily be dismissed as another player gearing up for retirement. However, what followed in the next few months proved otherwise. Clubs in Saudi Arabia have been raiding the top teams in Europe and signing players with relative ease. This presents a major shift from the norm, and Asian football is no longer a retirement base for players who have given their best in Europe. If this can be sustained, in a few years, football in Asia would be too big to ignore. However, for this growth to be felt, there needs to be a spread in such massive investments in the game. Other leagues also need to be able to attract top players and be able to enjoy top investment in their clubs. China tried this a while back but it all faded away, and the same applies to India, though those were more with the retirees’ model.
With the growth of football and related interest in Asia, the economic powerhouses will also be looking at this as the chance to boost their economies even further. Look at the mileage Qatar got from hosting the 2022 World Cup and the economic gains that were directed to Asia. Top stars moving to that end further indicates that the betting companies will also seek expansion, coming with interesting offers for the fans, and targeting new users. For example, Bet365, 1Xbet, Betwinner and Stake make a list of the best legal and regulated betting sites in India which offer up to R50,000 in bonuses. All these are analyzed in detail on SportyTrader. Apart from the financial angle, some of these Asian giants have been using a number of strategies to get top talent to either represent Asian nations or their associated clubs. In India for example, there is the clamor to get players with Indian origin, even with other nationalities, to represent the country in international competitions.
This strategy is gaining foot in South East Asia, where it is said almost a quarter of the world population either resides or originates. With such a big population, it only means that a South East Asian nation should be in a position to do well at the major football events in the world. However, no South East Asian nation has ever been to the World Cup. From the Asian region, the global event has for long been a preserve of Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Australia. In India currently, there is the proposal to bring on board Persons of India Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), to represent India. While there are arguments for and against that route, it is already positive that this consideration is in place. Making such players eligible for the national team not only strengthens the team but also builds up the fan base. Club presidents in the Indian Super League have stated their support for such and the All-Indian Football Federation top leadership is making steps towards checking the viability of such inclusion. This can only mean a shift is being considered. Really interesting times beckon.
Note: Newskarnataka advises its readers to consult experts / professionals and research further on this subject, be aware of the risks involved, and comply with all locally applicable laws and regulations in this regard.