KOCHI: Indian football team Captain Sunil Chhetri's plea to watch football matches at the stadium drew support from the prominent figures in the sporting world, including Indian cricket Captain Virat Kohli.
Lending support to Chhetri, the members of the official fan clubs of Indian Super League (ISL) teams from Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Goa and North East have come up with a new fan group, 'Blue Brigade' - a travelling fan group, exclusively for supporting the Indian football team when it plays in India and overseas.
Though the fans will cheer for their respective ISL teams at the Super League, they will rejoin under a single umbrella to cheer for Team India.
“Let's do it for our captain. C'mmon India! He deserves it, at least on his 100th appearance for the country,” said the members of Blue Brigade.
Chhetri's plea came ahead of the Intercontinental Cup match between India and Kenya at the Mumbai football arena, which was his 100th appearance for his country.
“It's high time the Indian football got some more priority in the country. It's a very critical time for the team where they need the entire nation's support,” he says. Chhetri's plea also saw the match being played in an almost packed stadium.
“The Blue Brigade is here for a revolutionary change in the Indian football fan culture. Our aim is to bring all the Indian football fans under one umbrella to cheer out loud for the men in blue. Despite the boundaries, we will follow our team across the globe,” said the representatives of Blue Brigade.
Along with cheering for the nation, the fan group will also put forward a request before the All-India Football Federation. “Now most of India's matches are played at venues with lesser capacity. The national side's matches are played mainly in some selected venues. We need a change in that situation. The country's matches should be played at bigger venues which have more number of football fans. Footballing cities like Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Chennai and Northeast should be given chances to host India's matches,” said Faheem Muhammed, member, Blue Brigade, Kannur.