Football was considered an unholy (napaak) material like a leather shoe in Kashmir in the 19th Century.
It is the most popular game in the world today. In Kashmir, it was introduced in, 1891 when an English missionary called Biscoe put a football on display in front of his students in a missionary school in Srinagar, Kashmir. The whole school was assembled and they had never seen something like that before in school, or perhaps in their whole life. They started asking innocent questions. The most interesting question about football was about the material used in making of it. As soon as they knew that leather was used to make it, they shouted to put it away as leather was impure (Napaak) as it was used in shoe making.
A lot has changed since the time when football was considered unholy and impure in Jammu and Kashmir. The sport has now become one of the favourites in almost all parts of the state. Real Kashmir Football Club is a professional football club based in Srinagar.
Real Kashmir is the first team from Kashmir to compete in I-League, the first division of football in India. The club participated in their first national competition in September 2016 when they played in the 2016 Durand Cup. In July 2017 Real Kashmir FC became the first club from J&K to play on foreign land by playing 4 matches in Scotland. Real Kashmir FC is participating in all four categories of the AIFF I-League.
Real Kashmir have received international acclaim following their participation in a BBC documentary called “Real Kashmir FC” that followed the team and their Scottish manager David Robertson.