Chhetri, Kohli appeal fans to watch and support Indian football

Sunil Chhetri took to Twitter to ask people to come to the stadia and support the national team and later India cricket captain Virat Kohli too sent a video message in support of his counterpart.

Chhetri: Abuse us, criticise us but please come to watch the Indian national team play.

Indian football team's captain Sunil Chhetri, who scored a hat-trick in India's 5-0 win against Chinese Taipei, appealed to football fans all over the country to come and watch the games in the stadia and support the sport in the country as it is the ''best game in the world."

 “Abuse us, criticise us but please come to watch the Indian national team play,” was the crux of the message in a video he posted on Twitter.

Chhetri agreed that the Indian football isn't on the same level as in Europe but he promised to "try our best to make your time worth with our desire and determination."

“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,” the skipper added.

Read: Sunil Chhetri: Indian football’s poster boy

Chhetri had a request for all the arm-chair critics of Indian football - "please abuse but make the ‘Blue Tigers’ feel relevant."

“I mean it’s not fun to criticise and abuse on internet. Come to the stadium, do it on our face, scream at us, shout at us, abuse us, who knows one day we might change you guys, you might start cheering for us. You guys have no idea how important you guys are and how important your support is. I request you all to please come ...talk about the game, go back home, have discussions, make banners. Please get involved, this is an important time and juncture in Indian football and football in India needs you guys,” the skipper appealed.

 

With less than two weeks left for World Cup football to begin and broadcasters urging fans of the ‘beautiful game’ to profess their love for their “doosri country” via hashtags, the country’s all-time highest goal scorer demanded some love and affection for their ‘first country’.

Also read: Intercontinental Cup: Chhetri hat-trick propels India to 5-0 win over Chinese Taipei

India, which has improved its ranking to 97 in the current FIFA rankings, is currently competing in the Intercontinental Cup 2018 along with New Zealand, Kenya and Chinese Taipei.

After defeating Chinese Taipei 5-0 on Friday in the opening game, India will face Kenya on June 4, which will incidentally be Chhetri’s 100th international match.

Later, Virat Kohli seconded his football counterpart and retweeted Chhetri's video. He also posted a video of his own on Instagram and Twitter, urging the fans to go and support India in Mumbai.

 

Requesting fans to fill the stadiums, Kohli said, “In support of what my good friend and Indian captain Sunil Chhetri posted sometime back, I want to request everyone to go and watch Indian football play. Anyone who loves any kind of sport, go and cheer for the team in the stadiums because they are working hard, they are a talented team and I have seen these players evolve and learn over the last few seasons and get so much better at their game.”

“This also will go down a long way in contributing towards creating a sporting culture which is the vision for all of us in the country. And we want to be called a proud sporting nation, we need to accept and support all sports equally. Because tomorrow you never know your children might be playing sports as well and they might need support from people coming and watching them play.”