The recent coronavirus outbreak has brought all the footballing action around the world, except a few countries, to a standstill. Football fans are craving for some action, and there are many challenges which have emerged during this period to keep the people occupied. One media house, San Bass Media, has caught the eyes of many football fans, particularly Asians.
What started as a simple twitter poll has turned into a big fan war. 64 teams from across the world were pitted against each other to see which club has the most fans on social media. There were two teams who were picked from India- Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC. While the latter didn’t make it to Round 2, Blasters have already defeated 2 teams and is on course to defeat Persib Bandung from Indonesia too. Although it is not of much significance, fans decided to take part in it as they finally get some football-related stuff to look forward to in this quarantine period.
Kerala Blasters, using their large social media fan-base, defeated Mexican club Tigres, French club Olympique de Marseille and faced Indonesian club Persib in the 3rd Round. And this is where things got ugly. Fans of both the clubs are very passionate and supportive while cheering for their team and this poll was no different. What started as light-hearted banter turned into hateful and derogatory comments not just about the club, but also the countries. Despite all of this, Kerala Blasters are rooting for their club to win and several fan-clubs of other Indian teams have also extended their help to them.
In this post we’ll be comparing both the clubs and discussing about various aspects which could give fans a clear idea about the team they are facing and would also help them to give their votes. Let’s start!
Persib was formed after the merger of 3 organizations. Bandoeng Inlandsche Voetbal Bond (BIVB) (Dutch for ‘Bandung Domestic Football Federation’) formed in 1923, Persatuan Sepak Bola Indonesia Bandung (PSIB) (‘Bandung Indonesian Football Association’) and teams under National Voetball Bond (NVB) merged on 14 March 1933 to form Persib. In 1948, during the Indonesian National Revolution, the term Bandung was added to the name as the club started to be known as Persib Bandung.
Kerala Blasters FC was one of the eight franchises which were founded along with the start of Indian Super League in 2014. The team was owned by Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Prasad Potluri. Kerala Blasters celebrate their foundation day on May 24 every year. Initially Kerala Blasters was just a franchise but slowly they started their reserve team and youth teams, turning into a full-fledged club.
Started in 1993, Viking Persib Club is the official and most recognised fanclub of Persib Bandung. Their motto is “At the heart and soul of Bandung since 1993.” They are known for their ferocious support and creating a hostile environment for the visiting team. Vikings Persib Club has more than 450,000 followers on Instagram and Twitter both. It was the first fan group in Indonesia.
Manjappada is easily the biggest fanclub in India. It was started in 2014 and has become an official part of the Kerala Blasters. It has won the best fan group award of India a couple of times and have many wings and supporters along with them. It was the also the first football fan club in India to receive a blue tick on Instagram.
Persib Bandung play in the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium since 2009. It has a capacity of 27000 and their average attendance in the 2019-20 season was 25,964. The team is planning to move to a bigger and an upgraded stadium, but haven’t done so yet. The stadium is usually jam-packed and provides excellent support to the team.
Kerala Blasters have played their matches in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi since 2014. The stadium has 60,000 seats, which can also be increased when needed. The average attendance in the 2019-20 season was 17,516. The attendance in the ISL 2016 final played in this stadium was 82,146, the most in an ISL match ever. The attendance was very high in the initial seasons but dwindled after mediocre performances.
Persib Bandung has won 7 league titles, starting from 1937. The most recent one was in the 2014/15 season. They also won the Indonesia President’s Cup in 2015. The club has won in the Brunei Merdeka Games in 1986, to add more silverware in their cabinet. They reached the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League in 1995 and the Round of 16 of AFC Cup in 2015. They are ranked 98 in Asia.
Kerala Blasters has no national level achievement yet. They were the runner-ups of the ISL in 2014 and 2016 but didn’t win the final. Their only trophy is their local state league, Kerala Premier League, which they won in 2020.
In the 2019 Liga 1, Persib finished 6th out of 18 teams. In 34 matches they racked up 13 wins and 9 losses, finishing at 51 points, 13 points less than the table topper, Bali United.
Kerala Blasters once again had a forgettable season as they weren’t even able to qualify for the playoffs. They finished 7th out of 10 teams, winning just 4 matches out of 18. They lost 7 games and drew 7, ending up with a winning percentage of just 22%. They were 20 points behind the group leaders, FC Goa.
As this little competition between the two clubs goes down the wire, we can only hope that sensibility prevails and fans of both the clubs pipe down and treat it like it just like another match. The voting is very close and will probably continue to be until it ends. Maybe your vote can make a difference! Go and vote now!
Round 3 – Persib Bandung 🇮🇩 v 🇮🇳 Kerala Blasters. 🔁♥️— San Bass Media 🇺🇲 (@SanBassMedia) April 6, 2020