Kohli, Sachin, Other Celebs Rise Up In Support After Football Captain Sunil Chhetri’s Appeal


If you were to shout the word “Sports” in India, the echo you receive back will surely be “Cricket”. That’s how tunnel-visioned us Indians have been about sports in the country. Have you seen the country ever rise in equal if not more anticipation for the Hockey World Cup or Wimbledon or an International Chess Tournament? Sadly, never.

However, this sorry state of affairs is looking at a welcome change, thanks to social media, where the woke folk have begun talking about other sports. And it is this platform, that Indian national football team skipper Sunil Chhetri has taken to, to make a heartfelt appeal.

In a plea that is testament to his humility, Suni Chhetri, who BTW joined the ranks of Ronaldo and Messi by becoming the third-highest active international goalscorer, has appealed to everyone, football fan or not, to come out in support of the team in the Intercontinental Cup 2018.

In a video that is bound to make you emotional, Chhetri asks every sports fan to come watch him and his team play in Mumbai today, in their match against Kenya.

“To all of you who are fans of big European clubs…. Sometimes you guys think that the level is not same, so why to waste your time? Agreed, the level is not the same. Not even close. But with our desire and determination, we’ll make sure we make your time worth.”

It is indeed sad that a player of this stature had to literally plead the people of his own country to come out and watch his team play, because the people have eyes only for one sport.

Chhetri’s stint in first match for the Intercontinental Cup 2018 against Chinese Taipei saw him score a hat-trick. This brought his total of goals to a stellar 59, drawing him level with Spain’s David Villa (59), and third only to Christiano Ronaldo (61) and Lionel Messi (64) in the list of highest active international goalscorers!

This humble appeal by such an illustrious sportsman for his game shook everyone, not just football fans, to the core. Many celebrities, across spheres, stood in support of Chhetri and team, and urged people to come out and support them too!

Chhetri’s video, which according to him, was an impromptu decision from the heart, had resounded with people across the country. More voices of support and appeal are joining the fray!

Fellow teammate Gurpreet Singh Sandhu puts forth a very important reason to attend the match!

Fellow sportsmen too rallied in support of the legend, because that’s what sports does, right? Unite beyond teams and borders!

There were cricketers…

… and a tennis ace asking for her tickets!

And even a hockey player chimed in!

A special commentary from Harsha Bhogle is sure to catch people’s attention!

Individual sportsmen aside, even national and international teams and clubs tweeted in support of the skipper!

Indeed the best sport in the world, they agreed!

Politicians and cops alike decided to show their support!

That must say something, right?

We all know how deep that Bollywood and Sports connection goes, right? Several of our favourite actors love the sport, play in their own celeb leagues and definitely did not disappoint when it was time to show their support!

From singers…

to RJs…

…to stand-up comedians and spiritual gurus….

it seemed like Sunil Chhetri’s plea touched every Indian’s heart!

But one of the most heartwarming appeals came from another sports captain and a friend of Sunil Chhetri, Virat Kohli.

Kohli too shared a video talking about how far the team had come, and how talented and hardworking they are. He requested people to fill up the stadiums and watch the game, contributing to the ‘sporting culture’ that India is trying to build.

“Have compassion. Think of how much it can contribute to the players and, in turn, to the nation. Because they’re all representing our nation and they’re proud of that.”

Another video appeal came from Sachin Tendulkar, who perfectly put the need for support in a player’s life!

“Because getting support from all the well-wishers is the best tonic any athlete can have.”

Well, if the God says it, you gotta do it, right?

For me, the below tweet kind of sums up the bittersweet reality of sports in India….

However, nothing can dilute the fact that our boys today need our support and we’ve got to give it to them, more than they can imagine!

So come on, guys, let’s stand not just for Sunil Chhetri and his team, and Indian football, but for sports in India!

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