School kids watching Blackburn Rovers' players during the Rover Stars tournament at Balewadi Stadium yesterday were enthusiastically waving Blackburn and Venky's flags and some also had Blackburn banners held aloft. When asked who their loyalties lied with, the Dastur Roshang kids surprisingly picked the EPL outfit.
School girls cheer for Blackburn players during the Rover Stars
The boys had footballing reasons behind their choice, as 12-year-old Kashif Shaikh explained: "Blackburn play in the EPL, and we watch them on TV. So, we like them more." The girls, on the other hand, put forward some raw logic behind their answer. "Blackburn players are better looking. They are so cute," a couple of girls said in chorus.
Kids choose Rovers over Dussera
As schools in Pune were closed for Dussera yesterday, Dastur Roshang institution decided to take their students to Balewadi Stadium to watch the Rover Stars tournament. The institution got complimentary passes for the day and asked their primary and secondary, boys' and girls' school and junior college students to attend, if interested.
And to the school's surprise, majority of the students willingly sacrificed their festive holiday and came to the ground, wearing uniforms and waving their Blackburn flags. Mrs TJ Shaikh, supervisor of Dastur Roshang Boys' School, said: "The kids, especially the boys, are crazy about football. They don't mind losing their holiday for football."
Pune FC, who?
Blackburn Rovers' players are scheduled to play a friendly against Pune FC at Balewadi Stadium in Pune today, but the EPL side's players did no home work whatsoever about their Indian opponents. Strikers Aiyegbeni Yakubu, Jason Roberts and defender Christopher Samba all admitted to knowing nothing about their opponents when asked how they prepared for the game. It might just be a friendly and that too against a much weaker side, but this level of unpreparedness might just come back to haunt Blackburn. Only time will tell.