ISL has brought lot of enthusiasm to football in India: AIFF
Margao: All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel is delighted with the response the ongoing Indian Super League has got so far and said the tournament has brought lot of enthusiasm to the beautiful game in the country.
"It's been a few weeks into the ISL and it's an ambitious and enlightened endeavour on behalf of the AIFF to bring football to the masses and enhance its popularity and bring more responses to the game," said Patel, who was was here to unveil FC Goa's magazine.
"There is a lot of interest in Indian football because of the ISL, because of the international players and coaches. In Goa you have seen how Zico and (Robert) Pires have brought in a lot of interest and enthusiasm from fans. The teams have been putting in a lot effort into the matches."
Insisting that I-League continues to be the main tournament in India, Patel said: "As you know we have the I-league which is the principal league in the country. We have been working over the years to upgrade and professionalise the league, bring it on par with other leagues and boost the popularity of football in the country.
"After a lot of deliberation we thought that a shorter format of the game coupled with entertainment and glamour would be a boost for the game and eventually help in raising the popularity of football in the long run. It took two years for us to convince FIFA about this. It's a great opportunity for us to host a tournament such as the ISL. This is the reason why the entire global footballing community is looking at ISL closely. My only request to viewers is to be patient. It's a new experiment and we need to ensure that Indian football grows," the AIFF chief said.