The AFC Cup tie between Indian giants Bengaluru FC and Mohun Bagan will not be aired live, sparking off a mini-outrage on social media. The last six months have been marked out as purple patch in Indian football. While they are slowly seeing the I-League title slip away from their grasp, Bengaluru FC, undeniably, have put Indian football on the continental map, reaching the final of the AFC Cup last season.
The football-mad public vented their ire, directly addressing some of the country’s premier broadcasters. There were many angry messages aplenty but humour ruled the roost. There were comparisons made to their expansive coverage of European football – along with the UEFA Champions League, most games of the Dutch, German, Spanish, Spanish and the English Premier League are aired regularly across networks.
Bengaluru and Mohun Bagan, also have in their ranks, some of the best Indian talents, which added to a certain section finding it hard to believe as to why the broadcasting networks decided to not show the contest. Among the domestic competitions, the franchise-based Indian Super League, along with the ongoing I-League and the Santosh Trophy is also beamed live across channels.
The Bengaluru fans were in full voice, and even their owner, Parth Jindal, expressed his disappointment, reminding the world that his side reached the summit of the AFC Cup only months ago.
Just two days ago, Bengaluru and Mohun Bagan played out a feisty goalless draw at the Sree Kanteerava stadium in the I-League. The hatred that the players of the respective teams have for each other is expected to spill over in the upcoming tie too, given that there higher stakes involved. As for the Indian football fans, it is just another inexplicable chapter of apathy towards the ‘Beautiful game’, and misplaced priorities.
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