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Good Sports: FILLING THE FOOTBALL ARENA

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
July 2018
Good Sports: FILLING THE FOOTBALL ARENA

Mumbai Football Arena seats 7,000 people, but only about 2,500 fans showed up to watch India’s opening match against Chinese Taipei in the recent Hero Intercontinental Cup. Indian team captain Sunil Chhetri scored a hat trick, leading India to a 5-0 victory that was witnessed by a sparse crowd. That prompted Chhetri to post a video on social media, urging Indians to support the team.

“To all of you who have lost hope or don’t have any hope in Indian football, we request you to come and watch us in the stadium,” he said. “It’s not fun to criticise and abuse on internet. Come to the stadium, scream at us, shout at us.”

His video went viral and the arena was sold out for India’s second match, a 3-0 victory over Kenya in which Chhetri scored a pair of goals.

Chhetri, the top scorer in the four-team tournament, may have earned himself a new role in Indian soccer: Manager of Ticket Promotions.



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