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India can’t wait to host U-17 Football World Cup: Tendulkar

He has no qualms in admitting that football is nowhere near cricket on the popularity chart in India but the iconic Sachin Tendulkar says the country cannot wait to host the U-17 FIFA World Cup as the sport’s following has increased post the Indian Super League.

Tendulkar, who co-owns the Kerala Blasters team in the ISL, asserted that football’s popularity is on the upswing in the cricket-obsessed country.

“Absolutely massive. Everyone is looking forward to it, everyone is excited and the guys are waiting to welcome the World Cup to India. It’s going to be massive, it’s good for India because people are appreciating ISL and FIFA coming to India is a big, big thing,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by ‘fifa.com’.

Tendulkar said the ISL has helped in creating a new fan base for football.

“Football is getting popular it’s nowhere near cricket, but I don’t like comparisons. It’s about appreciating each and every sport the skills, the hard work and the sacrifices the players make. Each individual should be respected for that and Indian people are appreciating ISL in a big way,” he said.

 “I’m thrilled that their response has been special and people are following not only the foreign players but the domestic players too...overall that is how football in India is going to grow. With India’s billion-plus population, if it grows it’s definitely going to have a positive impact on football all over the world,” he said.

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