After 5,61,856 votes over a span of 19 days, Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri emerged as the 2019 AFC Asian Cup’s fans’ favourite player.
With sports being halted due to the unfortunate coronavirus outbreak, we have seen several official sports social media channels hosting virtual tournaments as means of fan engagement. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had organised a similar poll on their official Instagram handle over the last 3 weeks or so to determine who the fans’favourite player of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup would be.
1️⃣9️⃣ days, 5️⃣6️⃣1️⃣,8️⃣5️⃣6️⃣ votes
The #AsianCup2019 favourite player has been decided.
Congratulations 🇮🇳 Sunil Chhetri! pic.twitter.com/eiVKWHQ4GV
— #AsianCup2023 (@afcasiancup) August 1, 2020
India, who qualified for the competition for the first time since 2011, gave a good account of themselves but could not churn out the desired results. In the group stage, the Blue Tigers turned heads with a 4-1 thrashing of higher-ranked Thailand. However, they lost to UAE and Bahrain to crash out.
Chhetri scored just two goals through the tournament but his massive popularity in the country, along with the size of the population, helped him eke out Uzbek striker Eldor Shomurodov in a tightly contested poll. The Indian managed to get 51% of the votes while Shomurodov got only 49%.