Kochi, 20 December 2016: Kerala Blasters fans have come of praise throughout India and world over for their passion for football and support to their home club in the Hero Indian Super League 2016. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi witnessed an unprecedented sea of yellow as the fans from across Kerala thronged the stadium for the nine games played here during the ISL season 3.
With a capacity of approximately 55,000, the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium witnessed a full house for every single match the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned club played here. The Blasters fan turned the force behind their club – often coming for praise by the rival club coaches who were mesmerised to see the love for football among the people in this part of the country.
Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Football Sports Development Ltd while lauding the energy and enthusiasm the fans brought into the field, termed Kerala fans as the key highlight of ISL 2016 journey.
“A big thank you Kerala for being such gracious fans. It is your unmatched enthusiasm and passion for the beautiful game that made ISL 2016 such a memorable season for me and for the entire footballing fraternity. The way Kerala fans supported its home club and kept cheering the team despite a heart-breaking loss, exemplifies the strong bond you have established with the Blasters.
“In three seasons, the Kochi stadium has hosted over one million fans. Undoubtedly, Kerala fans were truly the inspiration for us to have the ISL 2016 Final at Kochi. And we were overwhelmed by the way the yellow army welcomed this finale with colour and character. The way they stood behind their club Kerala Blasters through thick and thin proves that football has a unique place in Kerala’s soul, that Keralam footballinte eettillamanu (Kerala is the hub of football). The football world is in awe of Kerala’s resurgence in the sport. For us at ISL, it is the Kerala fans who were the real heroes on Sunday night. It is a joy to watch Kerala celebrate the festival of football.”
The Blasters fans not just achieved the rare milestone of recording the highest stadium attendance for any sports event in the country this year, but also scaled the rating chart of TV viewership this season. According to the BARC (Urban + Rural 4+) ISL viewership in Kerala State alone recorded 6 times higher than all India.