The Kerala Blasters recorded their lowest attendance in the Indian Super League since the inception of the tournament in 2014.
In their encounter on Tuesday against Jamshedpur FC, the Blasters recorded an official attendance of 8451, an all-time low for the David James-managed franchise in the ISL.
In attendance was Bundesliga legend Lothar Matthaus, but that didn’t deter the fans from registering a boycott of the team.
The match, which was played out in rain and ended 1-1 with Seimenlen Doungel cancelling out Carlos Calvo’s penalty strike, saw vehement protests on social media prior to the game. The Blasters had only picked up eight points from their opening nine matches in ISL 2018-’19 and the fans had urged a boycott of the match on various fan groups. The Manjapadda, the Blasters’ prominent fan club, boycott made for an empty-looking Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
The Blasters, two-time runners-up in 2014 and 2016, had won their first match 2-0 against ATK in Kolkata. That was as good as it has been for the southern franchise, with them failing to pick up a single victory since.
David James, for his part, was less than pleased with the standard of refereeing in the league and felt that his team had been at the end of several wrong decisions in the league.
James said,“It has been a constant theme this season. I cannot moan about it. I just have to speak as it is. We got Seiminlen Doungel to save us today. If you ask me, it was a game that we should have won. We clearly had the best chances. We scored a legitimate goal and got undone by a decision which was not a penalty. Today we were on top for most of the match.”
Next, the Blasters play second-from-bottom Pune City, who have five points from nine games. The Blasters are on nine, with a six-point gap to Jamshedpur FC in the last play-off place.