August the 3rd since 2018 has been christened as ‘Football Delhi’ day, something that witnesses personalities not just across India but the world come forth to posit their ideas and thoughts around Indian football.
However, this time around, there was an additional layer with the topic being chosen by Football Delhi President Shaji Prabhakaran — ‘How to make Delhi a vibrant Football city’. This speakers for the day saw personalities from multiple backgrounds ranging from the Hon Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Indian Football captain Sunil Chhetri, and the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup director Joy Bhattacharjya were among the speakers for the day.
The session got off to a bright start with the administrators of Indian football; namely Sports Minster Kiren Rijiju, AIFF president Praful Patel, AFC president Dato Windsor John and Delhi FA President Shaji Prabhakaran. The majority of the discussion was on bringing Delhi back on track, especially after losing the ISL team Delhi Dynamos to Odisha. The minister for Sport also went on to state that he would be setting up committees for football scouting across the country. Incidentally, it was also the birthday of incumbent football captain Sunil Chhetri who turned 36 on the day.
As the day progressed, there were several speaker who shed light and ideas on what needed to be done in terms of getting Indian football and Delhi football in particular back on track. Joy Bhattacharjya of Pro Volleyball, Vijay Lokpally of the Hindu and a few journalists spoke on the coverage of the leagues across the world such as the EPL and Bundesliga. Moreover, they pinpointed the issue with coverage of leagues across India not getting the ratings they deserve. Jaydeep Basu, a senior editor was, in particular, quite vocal on this topic.
The business side of sports was also discussed with OnePlus Marketing Head Siddhant Narayan speaking on how Football Clubs could possibly raise money from sponsors and corporates in a bid to add to the revenues and grants they already have.
Veteran journalist Sharda Ugra brought to light the importance of women playing football with Dalima Chhibber also speaking on why many women from across the country do not take to sport, especially football.
Crowd Product played an instrumental role in making sure that the sessions were conducted smoothly and proficiently. In addition, there was also a quiz/trivia around Indian football that was run during the day in a bid to keep the 300-odd fans who had turned up for the session.
Here are some of the activities and sessions that took place
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