The stadiums that purely focus on hosting football go a long way in developing a culture fo the sport and the country needs more of them.
India is a vast country with a very large population. As a result, the number of people who play and follow football is massive. However, the country is still a sleeping giant in the world of football, despite having such a huge talent pool. There are many factors responsible for the poor reputation of Indian football on the international stage and one of them is the lack of infrastructure, including stadiums.
Stakeholders of football understand that India needs to invest more and build infrastructure all across the country to facilitate young footballers. The point in case are the football-centric stadium, those which are purely focused on hosting Indian football matches of all ages and competitions.
Authorities must start nurturing players from a very young age and focus on establishing a culture of football. There are a few clusters across the country where football is dominant and people follow it passionately. These are also some of isolated areas, where one can see football-only stadiums. The fact is, the number of football-centric stadiums in the country are far too less to promote or nurture Indian football.
Advantages of Football-only Stadiums
Football-centric stadiums go a long way in promoting the game. The fans are closer to the action and can observe the professionals with extra detail. The type of insight one gains by observing the game closely in terms of tactics, formations, strategies and so on is very important.
The proximity of the fans also affects the motivation levels of the players. The cheers are louder and the players can clearly grasp the mood of their fans. This gives the supporters a chance to rally the troops on the field through their chants and songs.
Moreover, in terms of building skillful players from a young age, the quality of the pitch is of paramount importance. A football-centric stadium has more facilities to preserve the football pitch and keep in optimum condition.
A lack of football-centric stadiums hurts the game at several levels. Most often, multiple events are held at a multi-sport venue, leading to scheduling problems. The pitch is used by other sports too for various purposes, such as training which deteriorates it’s quality. The grass does not get time to heal. This results in patchy, uneven surfaces, which affects the overall gameplay during a football match.
The running track around the football pitch distances the fans from the action. This acts as a deterrent to large crowds as people are not motivated to attend games. This causes further deterioration in development of a football culture in the community and an atmosphere which promotes the game.
India has enough space to setup football-centric stadiums, which are also accessible to players from all corners of the community. The lack of them stops upcoming footballers from accessing good facilities, thereby leading to loss of talent and crucial years in the development of a young player.
The Need for More
Football-centric stadiums will be vital in developing players from a young age. The positives of playing on a well-curated pitch go a long way in developing skills and keeping injuries at bay. Another vital aspect of having football-only stadiums is establishing a culture and promoting the game.
India must utilize the expansive numbers of football players and fans, giving them an outlet to passionately support the game. Simply put, there needs to be more stadiums, especially football-centric venues which are easily accessible. These stadiums can help in hosting local leagues that will assist in identifying and promoting hidden local talents.
Only a few names come up when football-centric stadiums are part of the discussion. Dr. Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi, The EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad, Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai and a few more are some of the popular football-only stadiums and clearly India needs more of them at the national and regional level.