EXCLUSIVE: Luis Garcia tells why India fail to qualify for FIFA World Cup
Luis Garcia feels that In India football is often preferred as a second or third choice sport, and one cannot expect countries like these to qualify for the World's best football tournament.
While different countries around the globe celebrate their teams qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, India are still a long way from the qualification matchups. The Blue Tigers, featured in Group E of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers, and finished third behind Qatar and Oman.
Former ISL and Spanish footballer Luis Garcia explained where India lack from being one of the high performing nations in football. He clearly expressed how football is not preferred as a first choice sport in the country and one cannot expect their nation to feature in a World Cup if they do not respect the culture of the sport.
"I know here in India the people are passionate about their country to feature in the world cup, but it's a process, I mean you have to believe in the process. You cannot bring a competitive team in 5 or 10 years. In India the culture has always been in different sports, football comes at number 2 or 3 always," Luis Garcia told Zee News at an event in Delhi.
"So in the end, everyone in India need to believe and I think the government are doing the right thing now, they are giving the youngsters the tools they need, but they have to keep giving them opportunities and things they are giving at the moment. The passion is there as we can see the fans in the stadiums while the matches," he added.
During his footballing career, the 43-year-old Garcia represented numerous giant teams like Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona Liverpool and many more. He also played a part in the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) for Atletico de Kolkata.