The tickets for the finals of the Intercontinental Cup between host nation India and either New Zealand or Kenya are already sold out and the credit for that goes to the captain of Indian soccer team Sunil Chhetri. The finals will be played at Mumbai Football Arena on June 10.
It will probably be the first time in the history of Indian football that a jam-packed stadium would welcome the Indian football team in an international match.
This sudden surge in followers for football in India came after Sunil Chhetri posted an emotional video on Twitter, urging countrymen to come to the stadium and cheer for them.
In his message, Chhetri said: “I mean it’s not fun to criticise and 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 we might change you guys, you might start cheering for us.”
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 message came after the encounter between India and Chinese Taipei on June 1 which witnessed only 2,000 spectators in Mumbai Football Arena known for having a seating capacity of over 18,000.
Chhetri’s emotional video went viral and began instantly trending on social media sites. Many prominent names like Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar among others extended their support to Chhetri.
Following the appeal, a crowd of over 9,000 gathered on a rainy day to support the Indian soccer team when they took on Kenya on June 4. This was Chhetri’s 100th international match.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 5, 2018
Chhetri’s team managed to enthral the crowd as they registered an easy 3-0 win over Kenya. The Indian captain was the hero that day as he scored twice to guide his team to victory. Chhetri also entered his name into the record books as he became the third-highest goalscorer in International football. He is now only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Now, India will face New Zealand on Thursday, June 7 which will also witness a full-house as all the tickets in the Mumbai Football Arena have been sold out.
Indian soccer team would be hoping to entertain their fans by lifting the Intercontinental Cup on June 10.