The Indian Super League football is more than two months away but interesting ‘duel’ has begun among the supporters of franchise sides — Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC.
Kerala Blasters finished runners-up last year under head coach Steve Coppell and his assistant Ishfaq Ahmed but the two have been roped in by the new entrants Jamshedpur FC, owned by Tata Steel, for this season, beginning in first week of November.
Even many former Kerala Blasters players have also been signed by the Jamshedpur side for this season. The latest international player to join Jamshedpur FC was Haitian winger Kervens Belford, who was a key member of the Blasters campaign last season and had formed a lethal combination with C K Vineeth.
Apparently this had led to the ‘hacking’ of the Wikipedia page of Jamshedpur FC, terming the ISL newbies as ‘Curry Leaves of Kerala Blasters’.
In an apparent act of retaliation from Jamshedpur supporters, the Wikipedia page of Kerala Blasters was also hacked and the Kochi-based side was described as ‘old age home’, in a reference to the recent signings of a few above 30-year-old players.
The comments at the Wikipedia pages of both the teams have since been removed and the original pages restored.
Asked if he knew about this incident, Kerala Blasters CEO Varun Tripuraneni said, “I have no idea of anything of this sort. I read something about Kerala Blasters fans breaking the internet and calling Jamshedpur FC some name. That is what I read but don’t know whether it is true or not.”
Blasters fans, known as Yellow Army, are regarded as one of the most passionate of all the ISL supporters. Last year, during the match between Kerala Blasters and Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, the Yellow Army had turn up in huge numbers wearing the Italian’s bete noire Zinedine Zidane’s mask.
New entrant in the ISL but not new to Indian football, the Tata Steel owned club has a legacy of nurturing and producing players for decades.
“We are new to ISL but not new to Indian football rivalry. We are proud that our city has got the opportunity to be represented in the prestigious ISL and we will not let any club fans treat our club like this. We’ll be ready in full force when they come to our home turf. This is just the beginning,” said a Jamshedpur FC fan.