ISL diary: Solution, just a tweet away!

Bengaluru FC gave an upgrade to a pregnant fan, from her usual West Block seat.

Meghana Nair, a mathematics teacher, ws 33 weeks pregnant and she reached out to the Bengaluru Football Club via Twitter seeking permission to carry hot water to the Kanteerava Stadium on matchday.   -  Special Arrangement

The coziest seat to watch an ISL game is in the owner’s box, as one Bengaluru FC fan found out in the match against Kerala Blasters.

Meghana Nair, a mathematics teacher, was 33 weeks pregnant and she reached out to the club via Twitter seeking permission to carry hot water to the Kanteerava Stadium on matchday. She wanted to make her own arrangements as she faced issues with staying hydrated and finding access to drinking water when attending games earlier.

The club went one step further by giving her an upgrade from her usual West Block seat.

“Most of the people at the stadium recognised us! Each and everyone from Bengaluru FC right from the media team and the ones who accommodated us in the owner’s box were kind,” she said, speaking about her experience.

“The CEO personally made sure I was seated in one of the coziest seats. He had assigned one lady to assist me. The whole team made sure I was well taken care of.”

Sometimes the solution to a problem is just a tweet away.

Engaging with fans

Eelco Schattorie’s Twitter page makes for interesting reading. The Kerala Blasters coach is never shy of engaging with fans, whether he is explaining why a player did not start, or defending another who did, or offering theories on Asian football. Dealing with criticism cannot be easy. And satisfying Kerala’s madly passionate supporters is a task a number of coaches have failed at. But Schattorie has no complaints.

“I often get questioned why I interact on social media,” he said ahead of Kerala’s clash with Bengaluru FC. “I think it’s also part of my role to try to educate [the fans], to explain things, without going into too much detail. I’m not going to get into arguments on Twitter.

But I do think sometimes you need to explain to get everybody together. Supporters are a part of football. As a coach, besides forming my team, it is also [important] to interact with the supporters.”

Criticism from supporters, although difficult to take, was a part of football, Schattorie admitted. “It’s very simple. If you go to the doctor and the doctor gives you a prescription and says, ‘You have this this and this,’ you follow the prescription and move on. When a coach gets time to build his team, and he takes his decisions, it is sometimes unbelievable... the thought process of the people and the questions they have... but again that’s part of football. A coach always discusses. When he wins it’s fine. When he loses, he did something wrong, but I’m used to this,” he said.