Mumbai: Craze for football in India is increasing at a CAGR of well over 20% year after year. School students, college goers, unemployed youth and many more are constantly being attracted towards the foreign football clubs. But never had someone imagined that it will reach a level where sheer passion will be the cause for violence.
In a recent incident in Jhugadu Institute of Management in Mumbai, a first year student was beaten up by fellow students just because he had no knowledge of football and wasn’t following any football club.
At the institute, it is a unwritten rule that students have to follow foreign football leagues and should have a favorite football club.
Most of the students talk about football strategies, wearing fake replica T-shirts of their favorite football teams bought from the Colaba fashion street.
Any student not updating his FB status after an important football match has to pay a hefty fine of Rs500 per match. Celebrations have to be loud, and drinks have to be sponsored by the person whose team loses.
When our correspondent Mr. Harneet Ahuja dug deep to find out the real enthusiasm levels of football fans at the institute, there were some shocking revelations. Most of the students don’t follow football, but keep themselves updated to the latest happenings via mobile applications. They chat with fellow students on their mobile regarding a live match, but in reality they are just copy-pasting text from the application.
Also 95% of the students don’t know about the Off-Side rule in football. They think that the left hand side of the goal post is Off-Side and the right side is leg side. Talking about fan following, most of the students change their favorite clubs in each semester. In fact, currently 87% students have Leicester city as their favorite team.
When asked about why they don’t play football and limit it to only watching it, we got some strange answers which are listed below:
- There is no open space in Mumbai.
- Most of the football managers had never played football, but still turned out to be good analysts.
- Barring 5-6 students, no one knows the rules of football, so no point wasting time.
Most of the students had a low attendance during the recently concluded Euro 2016, not because they were watching matches late into the night, but because they would be embarrassed to face a fellow student in the morning who would have watched the full match.
Well, this type of enthusiasm will really take India forward in its journey to qualify for a world cup in the future. The boy who was beaten up is covering all possible measures to follow football as soon as possible. That’s the spirit.