Trembling Galleries of Kaloor

After the first match of the Kerala Blasters of the season, I conversed with one of my friends staying close to the Kaloor International Stadium in Kochi. He was amazed when he heard the fans chanting from the stadium two kilometres from his place. In a country like India, which can barely advocate a football legacy, Kerala and Kerala Blasters fans are creating something new, a fresh fan culture that has never been seen in India.

KBFC
Manjappada KBFC

 

ISL is in its tenth season now. By the past nine seasons, Kerala Blasters has gained an astonishing fan base that is very loyal to them. Blasters never won a trophy. Their last season ended in unpleasant circumstances. Even though a packed and cheering gallery embraced the season’s inaugural match, Blasters against Bangalore, fans are very successful in imitating the Western style of football viewing. Fan groups, including Manjappada, the prominent among them, organize the chants and tiffos in a very structured way. There is no doubt that this spectacular home atmosphere helps the team a lot. It shakes the rivals and cheers up the home side at the same time.

KBFC
Kerala Blasters fan groups in the gallery

 

Sabiq, a member of the Manjappada core committee, eloquently articulates the evolution of Kerala Blasters’ fan culture. He observes that initially, during the nascent years of the Indian Super League (ISL), fans served as mere spectators. However, a remarkable transformation has unfolded in recent seasons, witnessing the emergence of a fervent, unwavering support system of hardcore, dedicated fans. East Gallery is the epicenter of Manjappada’s electrifying energy. From synchronized chants that reverberate through the stands to the inspiring tiffos, the East Gallery serves as the crucible where vibrant fan activities ignite.

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Manjappada

Blasters are also equipped with a certain number of travelling fans who travel to each and every away ground where the team plays. The energy and support that this fan group passes to the team is evident from the responses from the players and staff, both on the pitch and out of the pitch.

IVAN

 

The same feeling can be seen in the words of Ivan Vukomanavic, the club’s current manager, who has said that the club has an obligation to put in more than our opponents because of our fans.

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