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Bengaluru FC is the latest club in Indian football. The side have taken the league by storm, not only does the brand new club sit pretty atop the I-League table, but they’re also making huge strides as a club and their fan base. While the club is the most professionally set-up one in the entire league, the fans are arguably the most passionate one’s you’ll find and certainly one that create an atmosphere as good as those seen in European football.
With just six games to go, Bengaluru FC are 4 points clear of second place Pune FC, but the table is so competitively positioned, with 9th place East Bengal having 4 games in hand, winning all would find them 2 points behind Bengaluru FC.
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The game on Saturday was against the defending champions, Churchill Brothers, who were struggling in the league this season despite winning their first ever Federation Cup title. With Bengaluru FC in their debut season, it was the first time the defending champions faced the newcomers in their own backyard. The result was a comfortable 3-0 scoreline to put behind the 3-2 loss against bottom placed Rangdajied United a few days back.
After the fans came under some scrutiny on social media and this very site for their chants during the last game against Mumbai FC, the passionate supporters ensured their chants this time round against Churchill Brothers were clean but louder than ever. It was the first game where the club tried to introduce the “Just Can’t Get Enough” chant made famous in British football, although that particular chant will take some time to set in smoothly.
Read this piece and the discussion that follows in the comments regarding the chants during the Mumbai game.
Robin Singh came on and changed the game, scoring one and setting up another while being involved throughout the game (including a head-butt incident which he and his ‘victim’ received yellows for). The ex-East Bengal striker got the crowd even louder as chants of “Who needs Batman, we have Robin!” played at regular intervals from the stands.
The chant of the day remains the one that mocked the Churchill keeper. Arindam Bhattacharya was always at the end of Bengaluru FC fans’ chants, as the supporters played their part in riling the keeper, forcing him into errors from even goal-kicks. With the score at 2-0, the supporters started a chant “Bhatta yedd goal bitta” in Kannada which basically mocks the fact that Bhatta (Arindam Bhattacharya) conceded twice and when a third went in “Bhatta muur goal bitta” sounded all round the Bangalore Football Stadium.
Sunil Chhetri scored twice and had an incredible work rate, with the supporters making sure this didn’t go unnoticed, the familiar “Sunil Chhetri, he scores when he waaaaannttts, Sunil Chhetri he scores when he wants” was chanted throughout the second half. Each player got his fair share of chants, as the supporters ensured that no one was left out, not even the manager Ashley Westwood.
The happiest with the chanting would be the ex-Reading youngster, Curtis Osano. While he was subject to the regular “Oooooooohh Curtis Osaaanooooo” chants, the Kenyan also received a special Happy Birthday song as he turned 27 on the day of the game against the defending champions.
“Namma Ooru! Bengaluru! Who are we? BFC!” chants have been chanted in games as well, but the customary chant that most replicate the traditional ones heard in European football (in particular English football), is the “Oh When the Blues go marching!” chant. The club have begun to be recognised with this chant, with fans attempting to ensure it’s perfect in terms of tune, with a slow start and quick finish. A video of this chant was posted on the Bengaluru FC fan page which you can see below. It’s hard to capture the sheer passion of the supporters in a single video.
With the club and it’s loyal supporters less than a year old, you can expect the chants to only get better, to the point where Bengaluru FC supporters will be widely known as “Ultras”! Can we get a trend going on that one now?
Chants like these, and supporters this passionate and well coordinated are a given in football in Europe, South American, the MLS and even Australia’s A-League. But it is something brand new for Indian football. As one fan stated at the game, the club is making strides on the field, while the supporters, off it.