'Indian football is developing at a spectacular pace,' claims Villarreal president Fernando Roig
Villarreal president, Fernando Roig has opened up on the football as a sport in the country, claiming that "football is developing at a spectacular pace" in the nation and that it is an important destination for "footballing investments".
Despite having the second highest population in the world, football in India is yet to develop compared to other countries in Asia, though the arrival of the Indian Super League (ISL) has helped in making the sport more marketable.
Roig though believes that India is a good destination for football and that the country will make an important contribution to the sport in the future.
“India has a huge potential. The country is really developing at a spectacular pace with some very good players coming through. I’m sure if we can develop football (in India), it won’t be just good in footballing terms, but for India as a whole. So, for those of us who can invest in football in India, it will result in collective good,” Roig told Hindustan Times during a virtual interaction organised by the LaLiga.
"Anything that is doing good and is promoting the sport in a healthy way is very good for the country. I know we are only talking about football here, but India is going to make an important contribution to sports itself.
“I think it’s important to support football academies and training programmes in India. I’m sure there will be wonderful players coming through the ranks in the country," he added.
India has emerged as a potential venue for hosting major footballing events as it hosted the the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and is scheduled to host two major tournaments – the AFC Women’s Asia Cup and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in the future.