Tendulkar, Ganguly voice support for football

Indian football on Saturday got another dose of encouragement from cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, who said they were all for the growth of the sport in which the country has been struggling to make a mark for years.

Tendulkar, Ganguly voice support for football

Mumbai: Indian football on Saturday got another dose of encouragement from cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, who said they were all for the growth of the sport in which the country has been struggling to make a mark for years.

Tendulkar, who co-owns Kerala Blasters, and Ganguly, co-owner of Atletico de Kolkata, seemed optimistic about the future of football in the country as they spoke during half-time of the Indian Super League (ISL) final between the two sides here.

"ISL has got a terrific response, big thank you to all those who supported the tournament. It's a new platform for both of us," Tendulkar said.

Ganguly said: "Though we are in different teams, we are together for the game of football. ISL has been very competitive."

Tendulkar said schools should take the initiative of encouraging children to take up sport at a young age.

"It should start at grassroot level. Schools should encourage kids to take up sports at grassroots. I am not saying that all of them should become sportspersons but we can become a healthier nation this way. The idea is to identify talent," the batting legend said.

Asked about the inaugural edition of ISL, Ganguly said it has been a tremendous success.

"Even though it's a neutral venue, almost 65,000 people are turning up despite the fact that Mumbai is not playing in the final. It's been a tremendous success. Everyone, from EPL managers to Atletico Madrid, sat and took notice of ISL," he said.