GUWAHATI, Feb 11 - “Football is a beautiful and the greatest game of the world, because anyone can play it. It is a game of ordinary people which needs no backing of super power,” said writer and Indian football expert Novy Kapadia while speaking at a session titled ‘Jogo Bonito: Re-emergence of Football in India’ on the last day of the three-day Brahmaputra Literary Festival on the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra premises here today.
Speaking about the current scenario of Indian football, Kapadia said, “Our country has to fight with 210 countries of the world to qualify for the World Cup. It is a very tough job and we have to develop a lot. Some states like Kerala have developed a lot in this game and recently the North East region also came up with some hope.”
Kapadia further said, “From 1956 to 1964, India was a prominent name in the world of football and was known as the ‘Brazil of Asia’. Many brilliant players had made us proud then. Unfortunately there was no TV then and our players were also not superstars like today. Today the ISL has made football popular among the common masses.”
Another speaker of the session and football writer NS Madhavan said, “During my childhood football was the most popular game which pushed me to pen about it in my early life. First I wrote a short story on football. But the quality of Indian football deteriorated gradually when people became capable of enjoying the game live.”
Sixteen discussions on various topics took place today where Chanpal Sok, Meghna Pant, Kiran Manrai, Tenzin Tsundue, Jenis Jonevs, Rajiva Wijesinha, Juan Sklar, Neil Grant, Sutapa Basu, Teesta Guha Sarkar, Ann Morgan, Dee Lestari, Ma Thida, Quan Barry, Theary Seng, Pier Nirandara and others took part.