When you start supporting a Football Club, you don´t support it because of the Trophies, or a Player, or History; you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; you found a place where you belong....
AIFF Media Report
Polarization of the masses through unity or support for a common purpose regardless of the result has been a stark feature of Football throughout the ages.
The ability of the ‘Beautiful Game’ to converge the multitude regardless of gender has been etched in the history of the game, giving the fans a motto and an aim to root for, whilst consolidating them together into a single everlasting unit.
In a broader view, the equilibrium is perfect in fan support and as Arsenal legend, Dennis Bergkamp once famously said: “When you start supporting a Football Club, you don’t support it because of the Trophies, or a Player, or History; you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; you found a place where you belong.”
A statement perhaps true than never before for Aizwal FC and their set of supporters, and in fact, the women stay on equal numbers or more than their male counterparts.
Tickets for Aizawl FC’s first home match in Aizawl were sold in less than five hours – that too despite a defeat in their previous encounter.
But what does Aizwal FC as an entity, rather than a Football Club mean to the people of Mizoram?
“It is a way of life for us. We feel connected to the Club and there is a sense of belongingness which runs in us,” explained Ruth Rosangpuii, an ardent fan of the North-eastern Club. “When the Team goes on to the pitch, it feels like a part of us is going to play the match. The connection is so immense.”
Even the Female supporters have jousted for Aizwal FC and this has given them a platform to voice their opinion about Football.
“We can talk about our Football all day. It just sticks to you and seldom detorriates,” told Ellen Pachuau.
“We have long supported the European Clubs but it is not as the same as supporting your Hometown Club. You feel a part of the Club and that is when you support from your heart,” she adds.
When inquired about the vocal female presence in the stands, Ellen opined, “If the Men can, why can’t we?”
“We love the Club as much as our male friends and the Club has given us a voice to vent our support for Indian Football”
“There are many female Football fans in the State and all of them have Aizwal FC at heart, hence it is no surprise of the female support received by the Club”, she explains
With feminism embraced in India in general, perhaps Indian Football has also embraced the concept with open arms.
“Our opinion about the Club has been accepted with the same gravity as many of our Male friends and this is the power of Football – to empower everyone”
“We hope many more female Indian Football fans will cheer for their respective Clubs. Indian Football needs the support of everyone”, stated Ellen.
“Mizoram is a Football crazy State and people flock to watch matches even when local sides play each other,” informs Mizoram Football Association’s Tetea Hmar.
Aizwal FC plays their first home match on January 16 against Bengaluru FC and according to Tetea, “the support will be like never before.”
“Given that it will be the first home match fans will flock into the Stadium and create an electric atmosphere. It will be a heartening sight to see so many Football fans in the State regardless of gender join hands for a common purpose,” Tetea stated.