Updated: June 3, 2018 10:05:40 am
Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, who starred in India’s 5-0 win over Chinese Taipei by scoring a hattrick, appealed to the people of the country to come and watch the matches in stadiums and support the game of football.
In a video posted on Twitter, the 33-year old requested those who are not fans or have lost hope to come and watch them play in stadiums, even if they want to criticise as this is an important time for Indian football. Thanking those who came to watch Intercontinental Cup match against Chinese Taipei, Chhetri said, “All those from the country who came to Mumbai to support us – amazing. All the fans from Mumbai who came and watched us, thank you so much for the encouragement. It means the world to us.”
“But today I am not making a video for you guys. I am gonna speak and appeal to all of you who did not come. To everyone who is not a football fan, please come and watch us for two reasons. No. 1 – it’s the best game in the world and No. 2 – we play for our country. We will make sure that once you come to watch us, you will not return the same person back home.”
Chhetri also addressed those who have lost hope. “To all of you who are fans of big European clubs and support European clubs with so much passion, thinking that our level is not the same. Agreed, the level is not the same, it is not even close. But with our desire and determination, we will make sure to make your time worth. To all of you who have lost hope, I request you to come and watch us in the stadiums.”
This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. pic.twitter.com/fcOA3qPH8i
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) 2 June 2018
Asking fans to not limit their criticism to social media, Chhetri said, “I mean, it is not fun to criticise or abuse on the internet. Come to the stadium. Do it on our face. Scream at us, shout at us, abuse us. Who knows, one day it might change you guys or you might start a chain for us.”
“To all of you fans who could not come or did not come due to delay, work, school, please come and watch us in the stadiums. You guys have no idea how important you are and your support is. So today I am requesting all of you to come support us on 4th, 7th and hopefully 10th June when we are playing in Mumbai. Encourage us, watch us, abuse us, criticise us, talk about the game, go back home and have discussions, make banners but please get involved.”
Chhetri added. “This is a very important time and juncture in Indian football and football in India needs you guys. So here am requesting you, come and support us, in Mumbai and wherever we play. Jai Hind!”
Chhetri received widespread support on social media after his tweet. Even Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli made a video to support his ‘good friend’ and appealed to fans to go support the Indian football team, saying that he has seen them improve across seasons.
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