Management of football in India
In the 1960s, Indian football occupied a pivotal place in Asia that carved a niche for itself on the international stage. The Indian team achieved success at the Asian Games and the Olympic Games. However, the period of 1970s and 1980s saw the game fall into a state of inertia and depression due to a complex medley of reasons. In the 1990s, modernisation of Indian football gathered pace and the National Football League was introduced. However, there was a failure to appreciate this commercial and professional value attached to the sport. Also, there was little effort to become integrated with mainstream professional football centring on the World Cup. Since then, the advancements made have been impressive. Efforts were made to intensify grassroots football, including setting up a uniform competition structure. In the process, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) signed a 15-year deal with IMG Reliance to support and develop football in India. As a part of the deal, a parallel domestic league was floated with special permission from FIFA. This chapter discusses the sources of recent change, namely the role of AIFF, FIFA, and other stakeholders; the establishment of two parallel leagues; the influence of U-17 World Cup; and the increased levels of sponsorship from commercial organisations.