29 Jan “Players acknowledging us on hearing us chanting their names is the best moment for a fan”
Written by Muhammed Ziauddin
My first experience with Indian football dates back to January 2011, the AFC Asian Cup held at Qatar. I was in Grade 8 and knew little about football. I had the opportunity to attend the group stages where India played Australia, Bahrain and South Korea. Sunil Chhetri had just made an impression on the big stage back then. The experience is unmatchable, supporting for your home country. I then shifted to Chennai for my higher studies. Football in India was just beginning. Since I was in Grade 12, had limited access to media. I saw it on the newspaper that The Indian Super League has just been established and was even more overwhelmed with joy when I heard of a dedicated football club in my city. Since I was a newbie in Chennai, I would just follow the score lines or just watch the match on the television during the season we clinched the trophy. After I began to get hold of the map of Chennai and also make new friends over here, I had the opportunity to attend two of the home matches in 2016. It was when our former player Dudu had scored a hattrick against North- East United. He came celebrating towards our stand and that moment of joy cannot be felt anywhere by watching it on a TV, etc. BSB had been already established but didn’t know much about them. Began following them on social media and got to know about the objectives of them as a supporter’s club. They advocated on bringing the chant culture, making banners and flags, etc. to elevate the atmosphere at the stadium.
My friend Raghav, who was already a member of BSB helped me learn more about them and I decided to watch the matches in B stand along with them in the 2017-18 season. I took the season ticket for the ongoing season and decided to attend all the matches possible. Me along with many other friends decided to make a flag. With the input of many, we finally made a 20sqft. one. It was splendid and waving it at the stadium made my day. The first home game against FC Goa was a loss but the atmosphere in our stand was undeterred. We kept on backing the team with chants, etc… during all the goal scoring chances and finally we ended up putting 2 goals and were deficit of just one goal to draw the match. The result wasn’t in our favour but the exuberant environment around me just made me forget that. At the end of first match, I was sure that I had learned all the chants with synchronization. I was even more pumped for the next match against North East United.
The next match arrived and I headed to the stadium well in advance to chant starting from the time players start to warm up. Mailson, Raphael and many other players acknowledging us on hearing us chanting their names is the best moment for a fan. I can guarantee that nothing can match that feel. We made ourselves visible and audible enough to the media. The match ended up with Chennaiyin FC netting in 3 goals. Raphael Augusto, our midfield general came running to our stand and celebrated after banging in two goals. I was on cloud-nine. I felt the adrenaline rushing through my body. Not just me, everyone went berserk. One hell of an experience. And I just cant wait for the rest of matches at the Marina Arena. Thothalum Jeichalum Meesaya Murukku See you there folks! B-Stand L1!