Former Wales international and Liverpool legend, Ian Rush believes that cricket's popularity has played a major part in preventing the growth of football in India.
"I do not follow Indian football but one of the reasons why the sport is lagging behind is because of the huge following enjoyed by Cricket," said the former legend.
Talking to the reporters on the sidelines of the launch of 'Steve McMahon Football Academy' in the city in association with Liverpool FC, Rush said that Indian footballers have no one to look upto unlike other Asian countries.
"There is no one the footballers in India would look upto unlike China or Korea and probably that is also a reason why India has remained behind," the former player said.
Another former Liverpool player McMahon, who will be the head coach and chief mentor of the academy, endorsed the views of Rush saying that football remained neglected due to the huge success enjoyed by cricket.
Emphasising upon the lack of proper infrastructure for football in India, McMahon said, "With the success of cricket, a lot of infrastructure was built for the game, but the other sports remained neglected."
The former England international, however, said the sport can only head in a positive direction from here on.
"There is a vast reservoir of talent in the country, it's only the matter of nurturing them at the right age and in a right way," McMahon insisted.