By Elton Gomes
After the Indian football team captain’s plea and a packed stadium for the India-Kenya match in the Intercontinental Cup 2018, all tickets for India’s remaining games in the Intercontinental Cup have been sold out.
Captain Sunil Chhetri undeniably has a huge role to play here. On June 2, Chhetri released a video on Twitter urging football fans in India to attend the game against Kenya. The video was seen as a “small plea” to Indian football fans and Chhetri urged even those who are not football fans to “please come and watch.”
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) June 2, 2018
Chhetri’s video received significant attention with cricketers such as Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar among several others, urging fans to watch India’s match versus Kenya. Fans have taken Chhetri’s message seriously, as all tickets for India’s match with New Zealand have been sold out.
Dinesh Nair, former footballer and trustee at the Mumbai Football Arena, was ecstatic over the development, “All online tickets have been sold out. It’s great news for India football. That people who saw India’s last win against Kenya want to come back again. Fan support is as important to Indian football as the showing of the national team,” he said in an interview with India Today.
Chhetri’s reactions after his message went viral
Chhetri said he never knew his video would get so much of attention on social media. He thanked Kohli for the additional backing.
“It (the video) wasn’t for the special occasion…I never knew it is going to have that kind of impact. I thank everyone who has joined in. It is a simple message,” Chhetri told PTI.
Chhetri admitted that he never thought the video would get so many hits: “That’s why I just went on Twitter. I never thought it’s going to follow hits. I got some 1000 messages on Whatsapp. I hope everyone takes in right way because it was from my heart, there was no hidden agenda. I thank everyone who joined in, it really helps, Virat (Kohli) and all joined it, it was a sweet gesture.”
Furthermore, to attract even more viewers, Chhetri said he will discuss with authorities whether India’s matches can be held on the weekends: “I hope next time we can do a little bit better. 8 pm time is great as it helps. If it is Saturday or Sunday it helps more. Whenever I talk to them, I will put it forward.”
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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