With India qualifying FIFA 2018, it would be a dream come true for us, Indians. Even though it is one of the most populous game here, but in 1950, Indian footballers inspite of qualifying was not allowed to participate as they were not permitted to play barefoot.
However, with the Indian Super League programme aiming to reach out to a million of young talented footballers, India now seems to be gearing up for FIFA 2018. Any change turns into a movement only when it is implemented in the grassroot level and this is what is envisioned by Nita Ambani, the founder and chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited.
When we speak of players at grassroot level, the first name that comes to my mind is Brazil. For young Brazilians, football is just imbibed in their blood and they know no bounties while playing it. Be it the dark poverty-stricken streets, open ground, in the beaches and coasts, fields and goals are just limitless. Most of these players do not even have boots but it does not impede them from playing. Children are not introduced to technical terms as shooting, dribble or spontaneity until they reach 14 as the vision is to let them play full heartedly and learn proper control of the ball. And it is when children play without restriction, that their confidence grows and their game enhances.
With great hope, let us all encourage street football and orchestrate an environment where children can play without any fear, any fear.
By: Subrata Dey