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U17 World Cup

U17 World Cup: North Korea's Kim Jon-Un & Catalonia find sympathisers in 'muddled' Kochi

08:00 EAT 09/10/2017
Kochi stadium
The Kaloor Stadium was a sea of yellow again on the opening day of the World Cup in Kochi but there were added flavours for the rest of the world...

GOAL BY NISANTH V EASWAR    Follow @Niktheblue94 on Twitter

The sun literally didn't shine brightly in Kochi on Sunday. Make no mistake, the crowd in Kochi was vociferous in their support inside the stadium for the two games. Without being obstreperous, they managed to get the Brazilian Samba and the Spanish tiki-taka going but consistent rains over the past days had an effect on the area outside the stadium. The area outside where fans were allowed to show their support was wet and muddy.

Either Kerala has an unbelievably large number of Brazil supporters or the fans took to wearing yellow outfits as the perfect opportunity to showcase their local Indian Super League (ISL) team Kerala Blasters on the global stage. Or maybe, a bit of both?

The fans were in full voice, despite the reduced the capacity and an official attendance of 21,362 for the match between Brazil and Spain. The usual attempts at 'Mexican waves' and the camera flashes were on show inside the stadium but what grabbed headlines was the funky show of support several metres outside the main gate in Kaloor.

An image of a group of people showing their support to DPR Korea ahead of their match against Niger was the immediate point of attraction on social media.

This could easily be sarcasm but let's not dwell on the political aspect of this banner. We can all agree that this is the most confusing banner to be unfurled across all six venues on the opening day of the U-17 World Cup in India. Everyone has the right to an opinion of course and on that note, let's move on to another banner that was seen outside the stadium. This is by Cules of Kerala, a popular FC Barcelona fan group.

Goal spoke to Pranav, an engineering student from Kochi and a member of 'Cules of Kerala' group, who said,"Our objective was to support the club [FC Barcelona] at a global stage. The U-17 World Cup match in Kochi between Brazil and Spain was the perfect opportunity. We were there to support FC Barcelona's players who features for Spain."

Spain U17 coach Santiago Denia refused to comment on the ongoing protests and the referendum in Catalonia and instead projected a united front. With the future of FC Barcelona in La Liga in doubt, the Cules (a word derived from the Catalan language) from Kerala have lent their firm support in the most appealing manner possible.

Despite the area outside being all wet and muddy, fans were in full voice. Not even the weather gods can stop these passionate group of 'yellow' fans and hopefully it will continue for the rest of the games in the city.