ISL 2017: Iain Hume asks Kerala Blasters, Bengaluru FC fans not to get personal
Ian Hume has had the opportunity to watch the ISL grow from it's early stages to now. He's seen ups and downs and won a couple of titles in the process. The ISL veteran is one of the most loved footballers in the tournament.
After starting with Kerala Blasters, the striker then went on to enjoy success at ATK before he decided to once again come back to God's own country. While Kerala's pre-season was smooth, proceedings off the pitch aren't.
The Blasters' fan club, Manjappada have accused new ISL entrants, Bengaluru FC of blocking the sale of tickets of one entire stand ahead of the clash between both sides on March 1. The supporters even began a Twitter campaign '#OccupyWestBlock', to signal their disgust.
Bengaluru, though, did communicate with Sportskeeda that the seats have not been blocked but simply reserved for the sponsors, which is common practice among almost all football clubs.
Both sides are set to lock horns at the Kanteerava Stadium, on March 1, in what promises to be a mouth watering and possibly heated clash. However, Blasters striker, Ian Hume has requested fans from both sides not to get personal. He welcomes the rivalry but emphasised that the fans must not cross the line.
"It's football, fan bases should have rivalries, provided it does not get personal. It's like an eight hour drive from Cochin to Bengaluru? It's not that far, it's the same as the rivalry between ATK and Kerala as well because they're two of the best supported teams. It's healthy for football. If everyone is friendly, it's not football," he stated.
Asked to air his views on the growth of the ISL, Hume had only positive words. The striker believes that the league has helped Indian football immensely, suggesting that the level of football has changed since the inception of the league back in October 2013. Comparing the quality of the players over the course of the last four years, Hume suggested that the improvement has been massive.
"The players will be the first to tell you that they have improved by leaps and bounds. This is my view point. Playing against some of the guys in the first year and when you compare them now, it's black and white. We're playing at a good level of football and we're now playing with better players than the I-League, no disrespect. It's a massive plus," he explained.