Tough for football to be as big as cricket in India: Fowler

New Delhi, Jan 6: Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler Monday said it would be impossible for football to garner the same popularity as cricket in India but felt that the sport is “continuing to grow fast” and there was “tremendous passion” for it in the country.

“I don’t think football will be as big as cricket but it is continuing to grow very fast. There is tremendous talent here and the scope of football is massive,” Fowler said at an XOLO promotional event to announce a three-season partnership with Liverpool Football Club to become the official regional marketing partner for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The English Premier League club had announced the launch of a residential football academy in partnerships with city-based DSK Shivajians FC in October last year and Fowler hoped that more such academies in the country will help unearth hidden talent.

“There is a Liverpool academy in Pune and there is need for more such academies in the country. It is a huge country and surely there are bound to be unbelievable players here, said Fowler, who scored 183 goals for Liverpool.

“Hope to see a few successful players from India.”

The striker, who holds the record for the fastest hat-trick in the Premier League, said that he would be interested in taking part in the Indian Super League (ISL) but saw his role as a manager and not an active player.

“I would certainly be interested in being part of the ISL… maybe as a manager,” said Fowler.

The ISL, though, for the second time, had been postponed at least until September 2014.

Fowler was slated to take part in the Bengal Premier League Soccer after being bought for $530,000 by Kolkata Camelians. However, the league was abandoned after the sponsors pulled out.

IANS