Indian Football captain Sunil Chhetri posted a video on Twitter on 2 June urging Indians to come to the stadium and support the team. He posted a heartfelt video after comprehensively defeating Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the Intercontinental cup opener on Friday.
Chhetri expressed his gratitude to the football fans that had visited the Mumbai Football Arena to support India against Chinese Taipei. “All those from the country who came to Mumbai to support us – amazing. All the fans from Mumbai who came and watched us, thank you so much for the encouragement. It means the world to us,” said Chhetri.
The 33 year old was disappointed with the meagre support of 2569 fans that the Blue Tigers received. The captain clarified that the video was actually meant for those who failed to make it to the stadium and for those who have criticised Indian football.
“But today I am not making a video for you guys. I am gonna speak and appeal to all of you who did not come. To everyone who is not a football fan, please come and watch us for two reasons. No. 1 – it’s the best game in the world and No. 2 – we play for our country. We will make sure that once you come to watch us, you will not return the same person back home,” Chhetri continued.
“I mean, it is not fun to criticise or abuse on the internet. Come to the stadium. Do it on our face. Scream at us, shout at us, abuse us. Who knows, one day it might change you guys or you might start a chain for us. To all of you fans who could not come or did not come due to delay, work, school, please come and watch us in the stadiums. You guys have no idea how important you are and your support is. ”
Chettri reminded the fans about India’s upcoming fixture in the Intercontinental Cup on the 4 June against Kenya which would also be his hundredth international match. “So today I am requesting all of you to come support us on 4th, 7th and hopefully 10th June when we are playing in Mumbai. Encourage us, watch us, abuse us, criticise us, talk about the game, go back home and have discussions, make banners but please get involved.”
Chhetri added, “This is a very important time and juncture in Indian football and football in India needs you guys. So here am requesting you, come and support us, in Mumbai and wherever we play. Jai Hind!”
The Blue Tigers have clinched a spot in the 2019 AFC Cup and also improved its FIFA ranking to 97.
This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. pic.twitter.com/fcOA3qPH8i
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 2, 2018