All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey hailed the Kerala football fans, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) for overseeing the return of fans to the stadium in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).

The newly elected AIFF president witnessed a packed house in Kochi for the Hero ISL 2022-23 opener between Kerala Blasters FC and East Bengal FC and was thrilled with the atmosphere produced by the fans. He also congratulated the FSDL for providing the fans with a great ambience to watch football.

“Every football organiser, football federation and football fan wants to see a stadium like this. Fans are like the salt in your food. Without fans, football cannot be thought about. The way you have come today on the first day of the Hero ISL, I and the entire AIFF are very happy to see the enthusiasm of Kerala football lovers. I want to see this enthusiasm across India. We are looking forward, along with FSDL, to see how the fans enjoy football in a better ambience,” Chaubey said.

The former India goalkeeper also praised the enhanced broadcast quality of the Hero ISL adding that it gives the fan a better opportunity to connect with the sport.

“I want to thank FSDL and ISL for the way they have put together all the efforts, and the way ISL has been conducted. The broadcast quality has been improved so positively since its inception the fans are getting this ambience. We need to have a longer season, so that players can get at least 40-45 matches in a year. That helps a player to grow. If a player does not play 40-45 matches, I believe the fans get deprived and also the clubs,” he said.

The Hero ISL has welcomed the fans back in the stadium this season with the league receiving a great response from the supporters who have turned up in big numbers in Bengaluru, Pune and Kolkata.