« Previous | Main | Next »

Will India ever qualify for a World Cup?

Ben Sutherland Ben Sutherland | 07:00 UK time, Thursday, 1 July 2010


We discussed this on World Cup Have Your Say on Thursday 1st July. Click here to listen to the programme.

When India goes crazy for sport, it's normally over a bat and a ball - Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian Premier League, the game of cricket.

But World Cup fever has also spread through the nation of cricket lovers with a massive audience watching on TV.

What many football fans are asking there now is why can't India itself find 11 decent footballers from a population of 1.17 billion and take part?

India's FIFA ranking is lowly - they're 133rd, sitting between the tiny island nations of Fiji and Bermuda.

G Rajamaran reflects on his blog that football as a exciting spectacle on TV doesn't necessarily motivate youngsters to play the game

We are fast being reduced to a nation of young couch potatoes who are happy to watch the Ronaldos and the Rooneys, the Kakas and the Messis.

And despite being the third most viewed sport on TV in India, the South Asia blog notes it's not yet broken out of heartland states to be the truly national sport which could propel it to a World Cup.

India's so far away from qualifying, there's a bit of wry humour around over their chances of ever getting there!

It's worth saying it's not the only country where football has mass viewership but no decent team.

When England lost to Germany last week, the top trending phrase on Twitter for a while was "Wasit Goblog" - Indonesian for "stupid referee".

We've spoken to fans from places including Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Afghanistan, Nepal on World Cup Have Your Say - places where football is very popular, but where the teams were not even close to qualification.

When will India qualify for a World Cup? How can they get there? Or will people there continue to sit back and enjoy watching the established countries taking part?

What do you want to happen in your country to get your team to World Cups in future? Or don't you really care, as long as you can watch Brazil, Argentina, Spain and the rest?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.