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Sunil Chhetri's effigy burned, family abused by Kerala Blasters fans

The Bengaluru FC skipper scored a controversial goal against Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League Knockout match.

Sunil Chhetris effigy burned, family abused by Kerala Blasters fans

Sunil Chhetri (Source: Bengaluru FC/Twitter)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 7 March 2023 1:37 PM GMT

Few months back when Indian football fans were waiting for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to begin, the ones in Kerala were quick to put up large cutouts of international stars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar. Moreover, they found space to also include their national team captain Sunil Chhetri as well.

Cut to now, the same fans in Kerala are burning effigies of the Indian footballer and subjecting his family to abuse.

This sort of treatment has stemmed from Chhetri's contentious goal which he scored against Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League Knockout match. Following the goal, Kerala Blasters, led by coach Ivan Vukomanovic, had walked off the pitch and refused to play the rest of the match.

The Blasters also complained to the All India Football Federation (AIFF), but the federation's disciplinary committee rejected the club's plea and declared referee Crystal John's decision as final and binding.

After the match, a host of Kerala Blasters fans were seen tweeting about the decision and how it was unsportsmanlike of the Indian captain to clinch the win in such a way. While it is understandable to criticise the opposition team and its players, passing profane remarks targeted to the families is uncalled for.

Chhetri's Twitter and Instagram posts were inundated with hate comments directed to him as well as his family. Moreover, footage emerged of Kerala locals burning effigies of the forward after Kerala Blasters loss in that game.

Sunil and Bengaluru FC next face league shield winners Mumbai City FC over two legs in the semi-finals to fight for a spot in the final.

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