Chennaiyin fans: We support the decision to play in Pune

The decision to play the ISL semi-final match against Atletico de Kolkata in Pune must have come as a disappointment to a lot of Chennaiyin FC fans, but they are taking it in right spirit and backing the Marco Materazzi-led team to bring the Cup home.

Chennaiyin FC fans with marquee signing Elano.   -  M. VEDHAN

The decision to play the ISL semi-final match against Atletico de Kolkata in Pune must have come as a disappointment to a lot of Chennaiyin FC fans, but they are taking it in right spirit and backing the Marco Materazzi-led team to bring the Cup home.

“The rains have been devastating. We totally agree to the League’s decision to move the match to Pune. Everyone in Chennai has to start from ground zero again and at this moment it will be difficult for the government to provide ample security and policemen required for the ISL,” said Krishnakumar, who runs the @Chennaiyinfans on Twitter.

Shakeel Ahmed, a member of the official Chennaiyin FC fan group @Supermachans echoed the same views. “A lot of fans are disappointed, but we have to understand the situation at Chennai. This is the only practical solution. In fact, majority of us fans have had to move out of the city themselves, with a lot of companies now functioning outside the city. So it is completely understandable.”

The fan groups said the rains have not managed to dampen the spirit of Chennai and they will support the team in whatever ways possible.

“The important thing is for Chennaiyin to win the ISL. That will make us all happy and we will have an open bus party to celebrate. All the away matches of the season were screened at the Papa John’s outlet (Vadapalani) and hopefully we will be able to arrange the same for the up-coming matches as well,” said Ahmed.

The fans also expect a lot of support at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi where Atletico have failed to register a win in ISL history.

“There are a lot of people from Tamil Nadu who lives in Pune. I’m sure the team will able to feel at home. In our last match at Pune, the crowd showed great support for the people of Chennai battling the floods. I’m sure they will stand with us in our encounter against ATK. Moreover ATK have not won at match in Pune, and that will be a psychological advantage going into the game,” added Kumar.

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