BENGALURU: Football weekends in England usually see pubs teeming with fans glued to the big screen cheering their favourite teams. In Bengaluru however, weekend turnouts at pubs are limited to 500-600.
But this Saturday night was a bit different. It was the night to create history, ‘together’ as the West Block Blues say.
The Open Box, a pub in the city, usually sees a turnout of about 500 on Saturday evenings. But as Bengaluru FC took on Al Quwa Al Jawiya of Iraq in the AFC Cup final in Doha, on Saturday evening, over 800 fans flocked to the pub donning the Blues jersey - a very unusual scene in a cricket-crazy nation.
The crowd was living the ‘Doha Dream’, taking the decibel level higher every time Sunil Chhetri, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, John Johnson and every other BFC player got hold of the ball in Doha. The atmosphere was electric.
BFC, through their journey, proved a point that in a nation where cricketers are worshiped, football would have its fair share too.
One of the fans, Samyukt Hemanth, said: “It’s immense and I hope we win today but even if we don’t, we won’t mind as we have shown the country a new chapter,” describing the ambience at the screening venue.
Another fan, Amogh, said: “You can hear people in BFC jerseys shouting but actually they are cheering for India. For us, it’s India vs Iraq, not just an AFC Cup Final. That’s the way I see it.”
The West Block Blues bunch are the new kids on the block as rival fans claim, but so are BFC. Together, they have created history and although their ‘Doha Dream’ ended in a heartbreak, their fans have shown the way for every other football club in India.