Kerala’s triumph at the recent Santosh Trophy saw football becoming a major talking point once again in a state that has such a strong tradition in the sport.

Some 27,000 fans thronged to the Malappuram District Sports Complex Stadium, at Payyanad near Manjeri, long before the kick-off of the final between Kerala and Bengal. Some of them had paid Rs. 800 in the black market for a ticket worth Rs. 200.

For those who are familiar with football in Malappuram, that wouldn’t come across as a surprise at all. This district’s affair with the beautiful game now has got a global audience.

READ: Kerala's success, football frenzy a fresh lease of life for Santosh Trophy?

Malappuram could claim that it is home to Kerala’s most passionate football fans, but the sport is loved in rest of the State too. A 40-minute documentary film  Maitaanam , being streamed on world football governing body FIFA’s official’s website for videos, takes a close look at the game in Kerala.

The video, produced by RISE Worldwide, traces Kerala’s passion for football through some fascinating stories. We get to listen to Rufus D’Souza, who has been training budding footballers at Kochi for the last 50 years. We are introduced to Pozhiyoor, a fishing hamlet near Thiruvananthapuram that has become a nursery for Kerala football.


Fans in Malappuram during the Santosh Trophy final


There are also interesting segments about the women’s team of Gokulam Kerala and the unique brand of football played in Malappuram, called sevens.

It is produced by James Rego, who heads broadcast and production at RISE Worldwide, and is directed by Misha Kumar.

Rego said the idea about a documentary on Kerala occurred to him when FIFA wanted to know if India could contribute to FIFA+. “I have been to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi for producing both cricket and football and the passion I saw for football was amazing,” he tells  Sportstar  over phone. “There were some 70,000 inside the stadium and another 20,000 outside. And when you walk around, you see people in yellow (the colour of the Kerala Blasters jersey).”

You can watch the video here .