Mumbai, June 4 (IANS) Hot on the heels of skipper Sunil Chhetri’s emotional plea seeking support from fans, tickets for India’s second Intercontinental Cup game against Kenya were sold out here.
Chhetri, who will play in his 100th game for the country at the Mumbai Football Arena, took to social media and requested football supporters to come out in numbers and rally behind the Indian team after they thrashed Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the opener.
A motley turnout saw Chhetri net a hattrick as Stephen Constantine’s charges began the four-nation meet on a perfect note.
In his video message which went viral, Chhetri said: “Abuse us, criticise us but please come to watch the Indian national team play.”
“To all of you, who have lost hope or don’t have any hope in Indian football, we request you to come and watch us in the stadium.
“To all of you, who have lost hope or don’t have any hope in Indian football, we request you to come and watch us in the stadium,” he added.
The video even got cricket captain Virat Kohli to react.
“In support of what my good friend and Indian captain Sunil Chhetri posted sometime back, I want to request everyone to go and watch Indian football play.
“Anyone who loves any kind of sport, go and cheer for the team in the stadiums because they are working hard, they are a talented team and I have seen these players evolve and learn over the last few seasons and get so much better at their game,” Kohli said in a video message.
Besides Kohli, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and former India captain Anil Kumble also got behind Chhetri and posted messages in support of the football team on social media.
India will take part in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup next year in January.