Last night, India crushed Syria 6-5 in a tightly contested final match for Nehru Cup. The match ended in penalty shootout when Indian goal keeper Subrata Paul saved one penalty kick to give India the Nehru cup.
It was a great day for Indian football as the entire Ambedkar stadium was jam packed and some people even had to return back due to non-availability of tickets. It felt god to see such a huge crowd and obviously the players would have also enjoyed such a sight! Despite any promotion, any celebrity behind it, people turning in such huge numbers, will no doubt lift the morale of any team and any sportsman for that matter.
Cricket has overshadowed every other sport in the country and that is a topic of another debate. I will not dive in that discussion. Nevertheless, the sole star of Indian football so far, Bhaichung Bhutia, whom many people in India know as a footballer and many can identify him, would be a happier soul after last night. He would have enjoyed every single moment of the game on the field and after the game. The Indian government must felicitate the entire team for their effort and this crown. Until and unless government takes some serious steps to revive every other sport, very less can be done by people themselves. And this occasion demands to be that turning point in the Indian Sporting history. Indian coach, Bob Houghton also deserves equal praise for this stupendous effort and win. Everyone associated with the team needs praise from all quarters and Indian government need to appreciate their efforts.
What we all need is do our part, to show our appreciation for the effort these sportsmen are making. We all can at least cheer for them to let them know that they are not alone, that we are not only cricket-living nation. With simple gestures, their morale will be lifted and their performance will improve for sure!