ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters fans break internet, call Jamshedpur FC ‘Curry Leaves of Kerala’
Since the advent of the Indian Super League in 2014, Kerala Blasters fans have emerged as one of the most passionate and emotional bunch of supporters in Indian football circles.
That has also reflected in the Blasters becoming the top ISL club with the largest fan base in India. The rapidly growing fan base of Kerala Blasters today is over 2.5 million followed by ATK at 2 million.
Kerala Blasters are also among the top 100 football clubs in the world, ranked 80th in the recent Global Digital Football Benchmark study last month.
The passion for the beautiful game and love for the club's yellow jersey have seen the Blasters fans protect their club against other football fan groups or clubs.
The Blasters fans picked up huge rivalries against Chennaiyin FC and ATK over the last three years. So passionate are the Blasters faithful that they don’t even spare the club and their management from expressing their feelings when the club fall short in on-field performances.
Only last year, the Blasters' largest fan group, ‘Manjapadda’, had started a campaign against Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi with fans in thousands turning up at the Kochi stadium wearing Zidane masks. Earlier, in ISL 2015, the Blasters fans had criticised the club's management for the selection of players and even announced that each fan would contribute ?100 to help the club sign better players. All of that after the club had finished seventh that season.
With the 2017-18 ISL only two months away, fans of Kerala Blasters are at it again, although Manjapadda are not behind it. This time, a separate group of fans have taken on ISL new entrant Jamshedpur FC.
The fans are unhappy over Steve Coppell – the Blasters coach last season – joining the new ISL entrants and their activity in the transfer market, pulling international players from Kerala Blasters this season. The recent international player to join Jamshedpur FC is Kervens Belfort who was a key member of the Blasters campaign in 2016 and had formed a lethal combination with local lad CK Vineeth.
Fans of Kerala Blasters created havoc on the Jamshedpur FC's Wikipedia page – giving the Tata Steel owned club a nickname “Curry Leaves of Blasters”.
“It’s an aggressive expression by the Blasters fans to tell the world that Jamshedpur FC is picking up the leftover of Kerala flavour,” said a Blasters fan. “We are certainly not happy with the way the new club has gone about signing all our players.”
While Jamshedpur FC's management is yet to react on it – the army of Kerala Blasters fans have announced their war against the new club and it will only be interesting to see when the two clubs would meet at the Kochi Stadium in ISL 2017-18.
Note: This is an article from secondary sources