'Sleeping giant' India football in deep slumber

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,01 October

Arab Today, arab today 'Sleeping giant' India football in deep slumber

Delhi Dynamos FC players
Mumbai - Arab Today

India's glitzy super league returns this weekend, but a struggling national team and insufficient facilities in the cricket-mad country means the "sleeping giant" of world football is unlikely to stir anytime soon.

India languish in 155th place in the FIFA world rankings and a recent humiliating 2-1 loss to tiny Guam further underscored the country's urgent need to develop a crop of future stars.

But foreign players, who have flocked to the Indian Super League (ISL) for the second season, said more youngsters would only turn to the beautiful game if there were green spaces to play on.

"All the kids, they love football. They want to play football but there are no facilities," said former French international Nicolas Anelka.

Anelka, the player-manager of Mumbai City FC, said even his own side was having trouble finding a grass pitch to prepare for the coming season.


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