The impact of Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga broadcasts on cable television combined with the growing influence of the two-year-old Indian Super League have been instrumental in bringing football into India’s consciousness. Today, everybody from school children to office-going senior executives are enjoying a kickabout at the numerous 5-a-side football turfs popping up all over the country. Interestingly, football has captured the imagination of people in regions where it has traditionally played second fiddle to cricket.
In this context, it is encouraging to see greater numbers of grassroots programs taking off in cities like Chennai, home of defending ISL champs, Chennaiyin FC. The latest boost to grassroots football in Chennai has come from the launch of Schools Premier League – Season 2, which has been graciously sponsored by Radiance Developers. Started in 2014, this year’s league features 16 school teams split into two groups. All schools in a group will play each other once and the top two teams from each group go on to qualify for the semi-finals.