The Indian football team’s Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya on Monday got sold out within hours of captain Sunil Chhetri’s emotional plea for fans to support the national team.
Less than 3,000 fans had turned up to watch India beat Taiwan 5-0 in the Mumbai on Friday. That prompted Chhetri to post a video on social media urging fans to attend their games and make them ‘feel relevant’.
India’s cricketing icons Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar gave their support to Chhetri’s appeal, which saw a massive response from fans.
According to the AFP, every seat in the 15,000-capacity Mumbai Football Arena got sold with one fan apparently buying more than 1,000 tickets for the match.
In his video, Chhetri had said : “To everyone who has lost hope in Indian football I request you to come and watch us in the stadiums. It is not fun to criticise and abuse on the internet, come to the stadium and do it to our face. Scream at us, shout at us, abuse us, who knows one day we might change you guys.”
India are ranked 97th in the latest FIFA standing having risen from 166th position in 2015.
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