I kept wondering if the ISL match would have been possible in Guwahati even a decade ago. Would people have braved humid weather, dust, long lines and trudged to a stadium completely disconnected from the heart of the city? Would they have been as enthusiastic about the easy manner in which regional politics merged with national markets? Actually, I’m stretching the truth a bit. My colleagues and I skipped out of the stadium happy that we had won on the strength of a solitary goal, scored by a Japanese player and supported by a host of players of different nationalities.
Recently, Royal Wahingdoh – a Shillong-based football club of some repute – formally announced that they would be pulling out of the I-League, an All India Football Federation (AIFF) promoted initiative. This came as a rude shock to the fans who had been religiously following the club.