News Karnataka
Saturday, October 01 2022

India, where Football is not the King of Sports!

Photo Credit : Unsplash

India is a vast country with the second-highest population in the world. At under 1.4 billion people, it lags behind only China. There is a diverse range of people and languages spread out through the entire country. Different religions can be found here, sometimes sparking trouble in problematic areas. One thing unites all Indians though, and that is a love of sports.

Whether taking part, watching, or betting on sports, Indians are involved in some way. Using their love and knowledge of their favorite sport to gain financial rewards can be a common pastime. As casinos are banned in all but three states in India, many Indians have turned to play at a kaszino online to maintain this activity.

But what do Indians like to bet on? Surprisingly, even though the sport with the most followers throughout the world is football, it still doesn’t appear to have a solid foothold in India. While the level of interest in the sport is rising, it still has a long way to go as opposed to most nations where football is seen as the undisputed king of sports.

What’s it up against?

In the U.S., there are traditional sports that have huge fanbases which hinder the progress of football. However, in India, football has a much greater loved rival to deal with, the sport of cricket. Originally introduced by the British colonists in the early 1700s, it has grown and grown to become the major sport in India, and of course, is massive worldwide.

The country has its own domestic cricket league, called the IPL, which was created in 2008, with teams spread throughout the country. These matches are broadcast on TV and generate huge interest in the online betting world. With large numbers of people fascinated by the sport, it may eventually even overtake football in the popularity stakes worldwide.

India’s international cricket has had a huge part to play in this role. Constantly hovering around the top spots these days, it wasn’t always that way. Yet the team had a notably successful era in the 2010s, cementing its popularity even further with the current generation of Indians. They are very proud that their team is representing them so well on the international stage.

Lagging behind?

India had been keen to promote football throughout the country and thus created the ISL (Indian Super League) in 2013, which began in 2014. Originally beginning with 8 teams, there have been changes over the years, and the arrival of the 21/22 season saw 11 teams participating. The season takes part in a typical league format, finishing with playoff matches between the top 4 clubs. The good news for football, is that viewing figures of this league are constantly rising.

Although it must be said that actual attendances at the games themselves have been falling. The ISL had allowed the signing of one foreign marquee football player per club to pique the interest of the fans. While this boosted the profile of the clubs at the beginning, many are now turning away from this route due to the finances involved. However, it has proven to be good news for the next generation of Indian footballers, in getting more game time.

The Indian international football team has not fared so well, still failing to make an appearance at the greatest sporting event on the planet, the World Cup. Despite ricocheting around the lower level of the football rankings, there have been signs of improvement. Yet they are faced with the problem of facing many teams on the Asian continent who are far superior to them.

Can fans bet on Football?

It’s almost standard that fans of football end up betting on the games in some way. As mentioned before, it’s not that common to come across casinos in India. While betting between friends may be fun, many have turned to gamble online, as it’s just so easy to set up an account and play.

While some places in India have begun to ban online gambling, for most it’s a straightforward experience. Joining should see you receive some sort of bonus and with mobile technology these days, an internet connection will allow you to play from anywhere. Football fans can bet on games from all over the world, they are not just restricted to Indian matches.

What does the future hold?

With the apparent stranglehold that the sport of cricket has on the country, will things get better for football? With other countries years ahead of them in areas of facilities and training equipment, there is a lot of catching up to do. However, it is unclear where the funding will come from to enable the team to do this.

Yet there has been a slow but steady improvement in the international football team. Many hail the success of the ISL as being integral to this rise. While the foreign players may not have set the light alight, their skills and experience will have rubbed off on the Indian players. In the last ten years, progress has been made that gives fans a lot of hope for the future.

Having hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, it’s not inconceivable that India may indeed put in a bid to host the men’s tournament.  While this may indeed be far on the horizon, it might be exactly what the country needs to surpass the national fervor that is felt about cricket and turn the attention of people more in that direction.


With the number of Indians staggeringly high, it’s no wonder sports are massively popular in the country. Although football rules the rest of the world, India has proven to be an exception. However, as with many other places, people still like to bet on it here.

Cricket is the main threat to football’s success and popularity in India, both domestically and internationally. Successes by the international team have only served to put this sport further in the spotlight. But there are signs that standards of football may indeed be on the rise in India.

With the advantages of betting online on football games, it’s no surprise it’s become more common, as it adds to the excitement for the fans. These people may have more to cheer for in the years to come as the level of football improves. Maybe then, football can begin to exert more pressure on cricket’s dominance in India and take over the top spot in the country.

Photo by Chaos Soccer Gear on Unsplash

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