A country where cricket is fanatically followed like a religion, the impetus on Football still lacks a great deal, not just in public interest, but also in the infrastructure and the development of the game which runs on a handful of clubs unable to create and nurture fresh talent to enhance the level of Football in the subcontinent. Just imagine, India qualified to compete in the 1950 edition of the World Cup by virtue of all their opponents withdrawing, and strangely, Indian players could not play because they did not have the boots required according to FIFA legislation. As a matter of fact, Mohammed Salim, one of the Indian football players, played for Celtic F.C. barefoot. Since that freak chance in 1950, Indians have never even come close to qualifying for the World Cup.
Some of the highlights of the Indian Football include a 4th position in football at 1956 Melbourne Olympics, and later their qualification to play in 1960 Rome Olympics. At the Asian Games level however, India did succeed in winning the 1951 & 1962 Asian Games Gold medals and was the semi-finalist in the next 2 Asian Games. Apart from that, there have been a few regional successes more recently in the South Asian Football Federation Cup; the LG Cup won in Vietnam in 2002, Nehru Cup win in 2007 & 2009 and the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup under the captaincy of the current Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia.
When we compare the quality of football of the European Nations with that played in India, we find that we are still far-far behind in competing with European & South American teams. The lack of proper sponsorship and the lesser amount of money also makes it very difficult to attract youngsters to take up football as a full time profession.
In the present time, Indian football association is also doing very good job for developing the football. Now we have the clubs and some tournament as well. For increasing the package of player’s, they have started the Indian football league called as I league. Soccerphase.com is a website and an online magazine where you can find the Indian football - news, history, camps, and live scores of Indian football league.