Atletico de Kolkata’s poster boy Iain Hume was upset at the attendance at their new home, the Rabindra Sarobar stadium, after the Canadian saw the fans fail to fill a mere 12,500 capacity stadium for the second time running in the ongoing Indian Super League.
In fact, the Kolkata side, who had averaged the second highest attendance last season after Kerala Blasters, saw their attendance drop for the second game after managing to fill only 10,900 seats for the first game.
“It’s quite disappointing, to be honest,” quipped the forward. “Last year we saw how the whole city came around in throngs to support us. It made for a great atmosphere. The Salt Lake stadium is the perfect stage for the ISL.”
“I understand we have had to go through a lot to get this stadium ready for the tournament and I totally understand the situation. However, it’s really disappointing that we can’t fill 12,500 seats. We averaged more than forty-thousand last season. So this has been a bit shocking.
“When any stadium is at full capacity, it looks more than it really can accommodate. When the whole Rabindra Sarobar stadium is filled, it will look more than just 12,500. the same thing with a 50,000 capacity stadium. The feel just changes.”
PIL filed by environmentalist
A PIL was filed by environmentalist Subhash Dutta to avoid playing games at night at the makeshift stadium as it was claimed that it would harm the “sensitive eco-system” around the ground. However, the games were allowed to go ahead after some compensation was reached which included the barring of any music being played at the stadium.
“There is no music allowed, and we miss the drums and the fireworks. And that makes it tough to generate noise. On top of that, we have not really set things with our play as well,” empathised the forward.
The ground, which can be best described as the oddest stage for the ISL till date saw around 10,900 dispersed across its stands for the first game, saw it come down by 300 for the second game against FC Goa. While many might point to the India-New Zealand Test, a heavy downpour before the game and the onset of Durga Puja for the poor turnout in the first game, there can’t be any excuses for the same in the second for a city that is known as the “Mecca of Indian Football”.
Also read: Whatever happened to Iain Hume?
Atletico have gotten off to a solid yet not a prolific start claiming six points from their first four games whilst remaining unbeaten. Hume, who was the second highest goalscorer last season in the league, is yet to find the back of the net from open play, scoring once so far.
“I have just not been good enough. That’ plain and simple. I am my biggest critique and to be honest, I am disappointed myself. I was substituted in the Mumbai game and rightly so. It led to us coming back in the game
“I just have to put my head down and keep on working hard. We really have not created real scoring chances. So we have to look into that
“Regarding my form; of course I am disappointed but last season, I scored my first goal in the sixth game against Mumbai and never looked back. So I have to remain positive,” said the 31-year-old.
Jose Molina’s men face the Delhi Dynamos on the 22nd before playing host to Mumbai on 25th of this month. Six points from the two games will help Kolkata edge closer to cementing a place in the final four for the third time running. And Hume will certainly be a huge factor as we head to the business end of the season.
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