The Indian skipper’s tweet was retweeted almost 60,000 times.
Far from being a normal day, 2nd June etched its marks in Indian football this year. Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri took to social media to appeal to the Indian football fans by a tweet, after a disappointing turnout for the first game in the Intercontinental Cup. After the Indian skipper’s tweet went viral, the stadium was sold out for the hosts’ next match against Kenya, with an attendance three times higher than the first match.
The viral tweet has now been recognized by Twitter India as the most retweeted tweet from the country, fending off competition from tweets of celebrity couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma among others. Virat Kohli’s post about the couple’s Karvachauth had the most likes, with more than 216,000 likes, while several hashtags like #Sarkar, #Viswasam, #WhistlePodu and #MeToo in India were recognized.
This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. pic.twitter.com/fcOA3qPH8i
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 2, 2018
Chhetri’s tweet had an instant effect among the Indians
The Indian forward’s tweet came with a message- “This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen.”- It was retweeted for a huge 59,836 times by the Indian fans. However, the impact was not just felt on Twitter, with countless football lovers posting it in WhatsApp and Instagram as their status.
Sunil Chhetri put up the tweet after the hosts’ first game in the tournament against Chinese Taipei only saw an attendance of 2,569. India won 5-0 thanks to a stellar hat-trick by the captain himself. But the lack of support forced the Bengaluru FC striker to put up the video message in which he appealed to the fans.
“Abuse us, criticize us but please come to watch the Indian national team play. To all of you, who have lost hope or don’t have any hope in Indian football, we request you to come and watch us in the stadium.” Chhetri said.
The tweet, which had more than 130,000 likes, was reported by BBC, with the UK media organization giving extensive reports of the increased attendance after the tweet was released.
Chhetri has been a household name for Indian football for a long time
The tweet received an enormous response, with several sportspeople like Indian Cricket team’s captain Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, and tennis star Sania Mirza endorsing it. The video, which had 1.1 million views, was right on point and the result was a tremendous increase in attendance for the remaining matches.
With the crowd behind their back, the Indian side went onto winning the Hero Intercontinental Cup. The skipper also became the top-scorer in the tournament scoring eight goals in four matches.