International football clubs keen on playing in India

Bangalore: Key architect of Airtel Rising Stars initiative, Bharat Bambawale today said there is a tremendous interest among sponsors and brands to invite international football clubs to play matches before Indian fans and promote football in the cricket-crazy country.

"There is a lot of interest shown by sponsors and brands not only to bring English Premier League teams but also La Liga and Serie A teams to play matches before Indian fans to promote football in India," Bambawale told PTI here.

Equally, the clubs have also shown interest to visit India as they have been approaching sponsors and brands like Airtel, Bambawale said. "Leading international club stars playing before Indian football fans will help attract youth to the sport," he said.
In fact, players like Wayne Rooney are interested in the development and growth of football in several countries including India, Bambawale said.

He further said there was repertoire of young football talent in the country who are keen to excel in the sport.

"I am pretty sure that over time, we will see talent grow in the backdrop of players like Sunil Chhetri signing on with Portugal`s football club Sporting Lisbon," he said.

Moreover the support from football federations and corporate world would see a continuous growth in abilities of young Indian footballers, which would translate into success for Team India, he said.

Replying to a query, Bambawale said it will be wonderful if some of the youngsters play for Manchester United, but they still have a long way to go. "I am sure at one point of time they (international clubs) will be looking at Indian footballers. Just when that will happen, I don`t know at this point of time," he said.