Mumbai City FC took on Chennaiyin FC in match No. 51 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Marina Arena, in Chennai on Tuesday but they ended up losing the match by 3-0.
It was not about losing the game, but about the spirit that the visiting team showed. They did not want to dishearten the fans who took time out of their busy schedules to watch the match amidst torrential rain in Chennai. The city was almost half-flooeded by the time the match ended. But, Mumbai City FC made sure that they play full 900 minutes.
After that match, it started pouring in Chennai. The city and its outskirts received 20 cm rainfall in just 12 hours, for the first time in 100 years. The runway of the airport were flooded, the railway tracks were waterlogged, and the players from both the sides were stuck in that situation.
Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC players and officials travelled from Chennai to Tirupati air base on Thursday from where they boarded a charter flight to Mumbai. Despite the conditions, Hero Indian Super League and both the teams thanked the local authorities for extending their support.
Mumbai City FC were supposed to reach Kolkata for their last league encounter against Atletico de Kolkata on Friday. Although ISL offered Mumbai City FC a reserve day for this match, the Mumbai City FC management insisted on having the match on Friday itself as they do not want to make the fans unhappy.
An ISL media release read:
"Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC teams today travelled by road from Chennai to Tirupati Air Base and are scheduled to reach Mumbai tonight by charter flight. Hero Indian Super League would like to thank the local authorities in Chennai for extending their full support."
"Further, the Mumbai City FC will now take a morning flight tomorrow, ie 4th December to reach Kolkata in time to participate in Match # 54 with Atletico de Kolkata, while Chennaiyin FC will head towards Pune for their Match # 55 with FC Pune City scheduled on 5th December."
"Earlier, due to uncertainties over the last 24 hours and facing the Force Majeure situation, the Hero ISL had offered Mumbai City FC a future reserve day to play the game. However the management of Mumbai City FC insisted on having the match as scheduled, as they didn't want to disappoint fans in Kolkata who had bought tickets in advance."
"Hero ISL appreciate the sportsman spirit exhibited by Mumbai City FC team management. Mumbai City FC had showcased the sportsman spirit earlier too, while playing the rain affected match against Chennaiyin FC on 1st December in Chennai."