Mom-to-be reaches out on Twitter, Bengaluru FC rolls out red carpet

Bengaluru FC is rolling out the red carpet for Meghana Nair, a pregnant fan, for the ISL match against Kerala Blasters on Saturday.

Meghana Nair poses with the Indian Super League trophy, which Bengaluru FC won last year.   -  Twitter/@Missusnair

Sometimes the solution to a problem is just a tweet away as one Bengaluru FC fan found out on Wednesday.

Meghana Nair, a math teacher, is 33 weeks pregnant and she reached out to the Indian Super League football club on Twitter seeking permission to carry hot water from home to the Kanteerava Stadium on matchday. Having faced issues with staying hydrated and finding access to drinking water when attending games earlier, she reached out to the team to see if she could make her own arrangements.

Less than two hours later, the club responded to her tweet, giving her an upgrade from her usual West Block seat to the owner’s box for Saturday’s game against Kerala Blasters.

 

Having attended both home games of the season prior to the one on Saturday, Meghana explains the difficulties of watching the game for a person who needs more assistance.

"There are no lifts in the stadium. You often have to climb four floors to get to your seat. I was able to manage because it was much easier at the time. We usually seat ourselves here in the West Block and it can get quite chaotic. In our last game (against Chennaiyin FC), the stands were crowded and the supply of food and water was not enough," she said.

"There are no restrooms nearby either. If you need to go, you need to head down to the ground floor. It's tiring and also uncomfortable for children who come to watch. We can hold it in for 90 minutes, its harder for the little ones," Meghana added.

A ban on single-use plastics and an effort to keep stadiums clean have led to restrictions on carrying conventional refreshments into sporting venues. This is what prompted Meghana to reach out to BFC.

"I assumed the only reason for this could be the ban on the use of plastic. So I tweeted to them asking if I could maybe bring in a reusable bottle with water. But fans also have to be responsible. Someone from the team explained to me that earlier when bags and water were allowed, there was an instance when a fan threw a bottle onto the pitch and the team was fined for that. The restrictions have been a way to avoid that as well," she said.

When asked how the sudden attention felt, Meghana replied, "It is all a little overwhelming. We never expected a response."

The BFC said the response to Meghana was a no-brainer. "When Meghana's tweet came in, it took less than a minute to get a very willing nod from the BFC management to have her watch what will be a packed-to-capacity game from the comfort of the owners' box," BFC media manager Kunaal Majgaonkar said.

“It's these small things that keep bridging the gap between the club and the people who support it.”

A lot is riding on this game for the Nairs, as it will probably be the last game the couple attends together this season.

"It will get a little taxing to do these games physically after this. My family asked me to give this one on Saturday a miss. But my husband (Suraj Nair) is a huge fan and he doesn't want to miss this game for anything in the world. Last season, he attended almost every game and this is something we really wanted to do before we both get busy with commitments," said Meghana.

Having caught the BFC bug attending games with her husband, Meghana has become a Bengaluru FC loyalist too. Goodwill has flooded her Twitter timeline, but Meghana is seeing her fair share of trolls too.

"My husband is Malayali but he does not like the Blasters. He likes Bengaluru. People have been tweeting back to me questioning my loyalties. Some have asked the team to check if I am a BFC supporter and not a Blasters fan- all because of my last name. So the last name has brought some judgment. I hope Bengaluru wins this game. Even a draw is fine, but no loss," she said.

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