I-League 2017: Despite having watched ATK game, German fan falls in love with East Bengal
What’s the story?
After the FIFA U17 World Cup, the ISL seems to have taken the football fans in the country by storm. However, one particular fan, from Germany, does not seem to have been too impressed by the cash-rich league.
Instead, Alex, who is said to have come to India as a tourist, preferred an I-League match between East Bengal and Gokulam Kerala FC, on Wednesday night.
In case you didn’t know…
The ‘ISL vs I-League’ debate has gained even more prominence this year, with talks of a possible merger. Clubs like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan had turned down the opportunity to be in the ISL earlier this year, owing to a Rs 15 crore franchise fee.
Heart of the matter
Alex, who is on a tour to India, had shown some interest in the domestic leagues played in the country. Hence, he had attended an ATK game. However, he did not exactly like the football that was on offer from Teddy Sheringham and co, according to reports in the local media.
Incidentally, he stumbled across a number of East Bengal fans on Wednesday, when the Red and Golds were set to play Gokulam Kerala FC at the Salt Lake Stadium. Intrigued by the red and yellow colours that the fans were carrying, Alex got reminded about the colours of the flag of his own country.
Seeing such interest from the 25-year-old German, the East Bengal fans immediately offered to take him to the iconic Salt Lake Stadium. They even gifted him an East Bengal scarf and a flag, thus turning Alex into an East Bengal fan immediately.
The German was also seen canting with the ‘East Bengal Ultras’, after a point.
East Bengal got a 1-0 win against Gokulam Kerala FC and did their title chances no harm, as they climbed above Minerva Punjab to the top of the table. Now, Khalid Jamil and Co will look to stay at the top and win their first ever I-League titles.
While Alex did not seem to fond about the quality of football in ISL, the fact that he watched an ATK game must also be taken into consideration. He ATK have not exactly impressed this season, and currently lie away from the top four spots, something that is an anomaly for the two-time champions.