Becoming Good in Football

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Becoming Good in Football Empty Becoming Good in Football

Post by iftikhar Sun 17 Feb 2019 - 18:43

Why some countries do so well in football while some others lay in eternal fringes? Economy/funding, population and (football) culture are the three ingredients most frequently credited for success. While this isn’t a case study of Bangladesh, I will (mostly) focus on our case nevertheless.

We have never been much good in football actually. However, while we were expected to be decent/competitive in the last millennia, we are currently playing catch ups to the likes of Afghanistan, Maldives and Singapore.

Money hasn’t been a problem for our football. While our economic growth started to gather pace in the 1990s, our footballers were handsomely paid during the 1980-1990. For example the star players would command a salary in the neighborhood of BDT 20 lakh (two million) during late 1980s to early 1990s. While this (equivalent to USD 30 thousand) may not sound much, this was what a senior manager at the leading firms (we didn’t have many at that time either) would have earned.

The advent of 21st century saw the rise and rise of Cricket. Today, the combined value of our two most prominent cricketers is (allegedly) BDT 500 crore (USD 60-65 million). But there’s money aplenty for the footballers too. While their earnings are easily dwarfed by those of the cricketers, it’s pretty decent compared to those in the corporate sector.

There’s nothing wrong with our culture either. Even when cricket has taken the center stage and perhaps the side-stages as well, the following for football remains very strong. The World Cup is a crazy time. I doubt if you will find as many Brazilian or Argentinean flags in their own cities. The TV following of the European leagues is strong as well. Yes, stadium attendance (for local games) has dropped like dime in the water; but that’s only because the European games offer a better spectacle in the comforts of home.

During the hay-days of 1980s and 1990s the derby between Abahani and Mohammadan would cram one lakh (100 thousand) spectators into a 40 thousand stadium. Other games of these two would easily draw 30-40 thousand spectators.

All told, we were average during our ‘glory days’ and damn shit at present.

Why did countries like Russia, India, Turkey or some African countries didn't manage to grow.

What does it really take to become good in football???
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Becoming Good in Football Empty Re: Becoming Good in Football

Post by El Gunner Sun 17 Feb 2019 - 20:18

I don't know how much African countries have really grown. More like some of them are just stuck in a yo-yo motion within more or less the same sphere and quality of football for decades.

To answer your question, training and grassroots development is obviously a big deal. That I can tell you for sure is where most African countries fail. Players here mostly only play for their schools as they grow up, there is a huge lack of academies with quality and knowledgeable coaches that could really foster these children and groom them into becoming skilled footballers. Then of course, you can say money is a big deal if you want to provide this, and so so many African countries are deep into corruption government wise, that there are always just bigger problems that need to be resolved, but are never quite resolved, so there really isn't a good opportunity to focus on sport advancement as much.

I would also say don't discount the role of money and media as a whole. Hypothetically, for some reason if FIFA just decided to form a worldwide campaign that would make people interested in wanting to watch South African football. If they put everything in place, and grow and fund the country, and work on advertising campaigns worldwide over the years a la English Premier League style, then slowly but surely people will start to watch more South African football, and the league will become more prominent and resourceful, more of the better and renowned players will join this football league and thus the attention will grow around the country, and consequently the country will get an overall boost in footballing quality and attention.
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