Indian football is enjoying its best phase in the long run, as the Men in Blue are unbeaten in their last nine games. The Sunil Chhetri-led side are ranked 101 on the FIFA Rankings. Although, looking at the live rankings, India have broken into the top 100.
Besides the winning streak, India also maintained an eight-game clean sheet, and their recent style of play has given the fans a glimmer of hope of seeing India qualify for the World Cup in the near future. Despite the team heading in a positive direction under Igor Stimac’s guidance, there is one change Indian football require to register themselves among the bests.
There is a notion that Indian football lacks fans, as even once Sunil Chhetri posted a video requesting the citizens to come to stadiums and support the team. In recent times, there is a slight growth, but the fans are not the only ones to be blamed for the poor outcome of people coming into the stadiums.
The issue with Indian football that the board needs to address is playing games on grounds made for track & field events. The frustrating part for any football fan watching a game is that they have to sit at a distance, which disconnects them from the match.
Look at most of the stadiums in India, Salt Lake, in particular, which has a capacity of 85,000, but still, there is a running track between the pitch and the stand.
If you look at stadiums in Europe or South America, the seats are close to the touchline, creating that ambience, and the audience gets to act as the 12th man, which is important for any team to feel that home advantage.
The AIFF should soon look into the issue and ensure that future stadiums are built with the sole purpose to host football games.