NUFC in India – Surely they should have known better?
NUFC in India. Surely they should have known better?
This summer saw the launch of the Indian Super League of football, the country’s attempt to harness the passion and fanatical support given to cricket, so much untapped potential in this massive country.
Representing eight states of India, they chose the name NorthEast United FC, or for short – NUFC!
What were they thinking of? Out of all the names they could have picked they chose one, on purpose, that had the same acronym as the club from the north east of England who have made not winning trophies into an art form.
It gets better (or worse – depending on which way you look at it), after eight matches NUFC have only won two and are third bottom of the eight team league.
The best bit though is still to come though.
Our namesakes in India have sold out every home match and have the best support at away matches of all the eight clubs, despite failing so far on the pitch.
The players have been overwhelmed by the support at away matches, at their first away game in Mumbai, the team were met by around a hundred students from the Kuki Students Organisation with banners and placards.
At their second away match in Delhi, a great away following supported them with chants of ‘Go United’.
This pattern has continued at the following two away games as well
Despite the team’s lack of success on the pitch, thousands of disappointed fans have been locked out of home matches and many are convinced that tickets aren’t been distributed fairly.
NUFC’s next few matches are already sold out and a large group of ticketless fans confronted box office staff, demanding to know why it was so difficult to get tickets for home matches at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. Some supporters believing tickets are making their way to the black market.
The Assam Football Association (AFA) has demanded an inquiry into the sale of NUFC tickets, with the AFA secretary saying;
“It is observed that people queue up for long hours only to return empty handed. I would like to move the district administration to conduct an inquiry if the allegations of black marketeering were true or any other factor was behind the shortage of tickets.”
An official from NUFC answered the criticism with;
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our loyal supporters who have been unable to acquire tickets for the upcoming home games. We are very grateful to their support to our boys, home and away, and this has been one of our biggest strengths.
“Best efforts are being made to increase fan engagement and bring all our supporters together for this phenomenon. “
I think it is fair to say that myself and I’m sure many of you out there are already feeling a special bond with our suffering NUFC brothers (and sisters) thousands of miles away.
Give them forty of fifty years of misery and they’ll take it all in their stride…
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