*Except for the last photo, the images are from the Official Facebook Page of Kerala Blasters. What I asked is a question that we see in the advertisement for Indian Super League, and it is about what is more important that winning. It says that the answer to that question is winning the league for the first time and becoming the first champion ever. I don’t consider it an interesting one though, as that achievement is something which will stay heavy only for a few years. Shouldn’t the answer have been “winning the league the most number of times”?
Well, I have an answer for the same, and it is “to try your best and earn respect”. Yes, Chennaiyin did well to come back from nowhere to go up, a lot of appreciation is needed for that. That should also mean that one like less for Jeje Lalpekhlua, that is from me, just because I don’t approve handballs. Yes, everybody can’t be Adam Gilchrist or Rahul Dravid, but if they tried to be honest, that would have pleased me. I always love such a good gesture. Yes, the referee also contributed to it, whose fault it remains.
I believe that Chennaiyin would have won against Kerala Blasters, but it is karma that let them down. Kerala got the worst of the referee as what happened with Atletico de Kolkata reversed like a tsunami multiple times, with the worst decisions being made against them. But to add to that, Chennaiyin had to add the handball, and I believe that the one moment of cheating took the weapons of karma started its work. Poetic justice – ever heard of it? It will come to you some day, may be in this life or the next. This time, it came earlier.
Well, it is quite usual for the new generation who are taught that there is nothing bigger than winning. It is all about being glory hunters, and we have a lot of them in football. Marco Materazzi’s missing of penality is also about the same – the one thing that made him more famous than the rest, is what he caused to Zinedine Zidane, one of my favourite players of that time. He became a main reason for many of us to dislike the Chennaiyin FC along with the overacting that Abhishek Bachchan was doing at the stadium. That red card was coming for Materazzi, because there is God, and there is Sachin Tendulkar.
Chennai is my second favourite city in India outside Kerala, coming next only after Kolkata, and every time, I hope to support them in any league and appreciate them coming first on the league table, but something always comes up. With Chennai Super Kings, there was that match-fixing scandal, and there was the owner of the same team controlling the whole cricket in India. Now, even for Chennaiyin FC, there is the co-owner Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and I can’t help not seeing a connection there. I then wondered why the Bangalore franchise was replaced with Chennai.
Even in a match which saw one of the worst refereeing of the whole tournament, the highlight is the effort which both teams put up here, especially Kerala Blasters who fought all odds to win this battle. Nothing seemed to work for them as there was the early red card, too many fouls against them even as the referee gave less number of them, a self-goal, a penality and a goal with a hand – all going against them. It seemed that even Mukesh and Nita Ambani were with Chennaiyin. A defeat was certain there, and with the goal keeper and the best strikers replaced, there was even less hope with a shoot-out.
Kerala Blasters did hold on though, and when wonder how this poetic justice worked like a dream, the name of Sachin Tendulkar comes to one’s mind. This is another gift to one of the greatest sportsmen India has ever produced, and it would be great if the other team in the final is Atletico de Kolkata, but the three teams that remains now are my favourites, and I will only be extremely delighted no matter who wins this first ISL – let it be Kerala, Kolkata or Goa. What about Sachin Tendulkar vs Sourav Ganguly in the final – wouldn’t that be awesome?
*Even if Kerala Blasters had lost today, they would have won hearts, but they chose more, and the fight they brought is more important than winning. Despite what the owners, coaches, some fans and the officials have been doing wrong, Chennaiyin team also deserves respect for making this attempt. One thing I admire about Abhishek Bachchan is that he stood with his team till the end making every team wish that they had an owner like him, otherwise I am not a fan of him with what he is showing on the ground and in the movies.
Thank You Kerala Blasters! TeNy