By Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
Tell us about your passion for sport.
Zayed: I have been a sportsman all my life. I was associated with IPL and am so happy to be here cheering for Goa.
Aditya: I have grown up playing and watching football. It’s a part of life.
Share with us your views on Indian Super League.
Zayed: I am so happy that something like ISL is happening in India. Everything cannot be government centric. When private companies come into the picture, the change can be seen. They bring to sports investment, infrastructure and of course the entertainment quotient. I must admit that in the beginning I did have my doubts about the ISL, but after witnessing the opening ceremony and the first match, I am impressed and pleased with the response it has garnered and the way it is being organised. ISL is going to take Indian football places given the way in which it is being marketed and organised.
Aditya: ISL is the best thing to have happened to Indian football. Besides the matches it is also focusing a lot on developing grassroots football and taking talent to the national level for all to witness. It will soon become the next spectator sport in India after cricket.
What makes you support FC Goa?
Zayed: I am here to support football first and then Goa. Goa is loved by everybody and I for one have a soft corner for Goa. If you’re single it’s your girlfriend, if your married Goa is your second wife. There is no way I could ditch Goa to support any other team. You choose to support a team based on talent, experience and spirit and FC Goa has that in totality. I am trying to support football and will be present at matches to support FC Goa.
Aditya: I am from Mumbai but I am here to support FC Goa as Goa is my favourite place in the world. I come down here at least six times a year and have played football on Goan beaches. That’s why I am here to support FC Goa
How do you think ISL will help football in India?
Zayed: I must say I missed my bus, but there is always scope for introducing more teams in the future. The 350-million market will give football the much needed push. However, it all boils down to performance and consistency. Slowly, ISL will build a base for football in the country. It will tap potential. Additionally, it will bring in money to the sport in the form of advertisers and broadcasting rights as games will be viewed not just in India but world over. Don’t be surprised if ISL becomes as great as EPL with Indian footballers in a fix over choosing whom to play for – ISL, EPL or La Liga, for that matter.
Aditya: ISL will bring in a new sporting culture in the country which is presently totally dominated by cricket. It will give to the world quality and viewership. Eventually, it will give cricket stiff competition in the country and that time is not too far away. Besides, it will take Indian football to greater heights, the most important being playing in the World Cup. There is also going to be a huge talent pool that will get harnessed through the ISL and these talented players will get the chance to both perform and earn. ISL will also emerge as a platform for a new breed of Indian footballers. It will impact the country by way of increasing viewership for televised Indian football matches.
Finally, your take on films being made on sports.
Zayed: It is picking up in our country. Such films can be very inspiring and I am happy to see people reacting positively to such films.
Aditya: Films on sports make us aware. It gives us a chance to celebrate champions and create aspirations amongst viewers. They definitely have a positive influence on everybody.