Indian football has a chicken and egg situation

Not considered a medal prospect at major international events by the government, it gets whatever funding is left after the high-priority sports are taken care of.

On 17 July, India’s Croatian football coach Igor Stimac went on the social media site formerly known as Twitter with a direct appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sports minister Anurag Thakur to “allow our football team to participate in the Asian Games”.

Just a week prior, the sports ministry had denied the team permission to participate in the Asiad, citing its policy that “for team events, only those sports which have achieved a ranking up to eighth among participating countries of Asia over the previous 12 months could be considered for participation”. 

Currently, the Indian team ranks 18 …


Prem Panicker

Prem Panicker has been a journalist for over 30 years. From daily newspapers to weekly magazines and digital news portals—he was one of the seven journalists who were part of the start-up team—he has written and edited features extensively across mediums and publications. Since quitting his job at Yahoo in 2014, he has been working as a freelance writer and editor, as well as teaching narrative journalism.