KOCHI: The members of the Kerala football team, which regained the Santosh Trophy national football championship title after 14 years by defeating West Bengal on Sunday, were accorded a rousing reception at the Cochin International Airport and later at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Fans, football officials and people’s representatives, including Local Bodies Minister K T Jaleel, welcomed the players who reached Nedumbassery airport at 4pm with cheers and applause.“Players don’t receive such a reception from the public even when playing for our nation. This is really awesome as we could feel the love of the football lovers,” said captain Rahul V Raj.Rahul said he and his team-mates were fully confident going into the final. “Though it was 2-2 after regulation time, we were confident of winning the match. Our goalkeeper Midhun V was in fine form,” he said.
Minister K T Jaleel said the government would honour the team at a function which will be held in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.“It’s a proud moment for the entire state. This triumph will give a big boost to our players. Kerala will celebrate Friday as a victory day,” said Jaleel.
Anurag to get a home
The sponsor of the Kerala team ICL Fincorp announced they would construct a house for P C Anurag, who is now living in a palm-thatched roof house.