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Professional Football is Really Popular in India

Posted by anandrr on June 8, 2008

How popular is professional football in India? I did not miss a single game of the Premier League so long as I was in India. Every game was televised live. The pre- and post-game shows were produced specially for Asia out of Hong Kong. Now that Euro 2008 has begun, it turns out that ESPN is running a special India feed. The pre- and post-game shows featuring the same host and experts as the Premier League shows are now clearly India-only. And the games seem to feature Hindi commentary. I have no idea how one gets alternative language commentary on Indian TV sets, with any luck our friends in the north are plastered with Hindi-only commentary to make up for years of Hindi imposition on us during cricket games. If I never hear the phrase “gendh thappa khane ke baad…,” again in my life it won’t be too soon.

The downside of all this is that the only really popular clubs in India are the rich guys like Man. U. No point pointing out to the young impressionable minds that supporting Man. U. is like supporting the Yankees or the Australian cricket team.

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