MUMBAI: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is the co-owner of Kerala Blasters, Thursday said it was important for the stakeholders of Indian football to come forward and make the most out of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Tendulkar thanked Nita Ambani, chairperson of Football Sports Development (FSD), which owns the ISL, and All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel for making ISL a reality.
“I personally feel that in such a big nation, talent is there but possibly there is no right platform or not enough opportunities to express it. This is where I would like to thank Nita bhabhi and Praful bhai for making this happen for Indian Football. It is extremely important for everyone to make the most of this platform,” said Tendulkar at the official launch of the ISL.
Tendulkar said be it cricket or football, he would support sport in India and all the sporting personalities.
“I have a vision for India and in my words I call it ‘Sports for All’. It is about encouraging the youth of India and starting from the grassroots level to involve themselves in sporting activities. It is not about making all of them professional sportsmen or sportswomen. It is about making all of them healthy and fit. The happy moment for me would be when India as a nation would be recognised as the healthiest and fittest nation in the world,” he said.
Tendulkar said his team Kerala Blasters would compete hard in the league but he will still continue to be friends off the field with other team owners.
“From my sporting experience of the last 25 years, something which I have been able to learn by engaging myself in sporting activities couldn’t be learnt in the board room or classroom. Sport teaches you lot of things in life. It taught me to compete but compete in the right spirit,” Tendulkar said.
“Along the way, there would be obstacles, you may win or may lose. But it teaches you to get up back on your feet again and compete. That is what I would ask all the teams here to do — to compete in the right spirit. We will compete hard though but continue to be friends off the field,” he said.