Somu Joseph opened up about the emergence of the Manjappada and how fans shape the core of a club with their passion and commitment. Kerala FC and their ever-expanding army known as the Manjappada is taking the state by storm. It is one of the most recognized supporter groups in the country. Joseph talks through the highs and lows of the supporter group.
“After the late 90s, Kerala didn’t have a famed team or a player of any kind. Then through the Hero ISL, Kerala Blasters FC came through, and if there is a team from Kerala then definitely we will love that team, and that’s how it started. When I started to feel the experience of the team, the vibe in the stadium, the players, that love just blossomed, and it’s continuing to blossom,” one of the oldest Manjappada members Somu Joseph said. “Numerous fan pages started to form on Facebook once Kerala Blasters FC was announced as a team. That was the initial start of the Manjappada. Once we understood that the community has been growing, we coined the name Yellow Army a.k.a the Manjappada. Then, we started with the Whatsapp group, which grew into several Whatsapp groups in accordance with several districts, and then later on internationally as well.”
“After a disappointing second season, we brought all the fans under one umbrella, under the KBFC Manjappada and we inculcated more of our passion to the club,” he added. “We wanted each and every one of us to come to the stadium to witness the match, so we made them understand the importance of banners, tifos, and eventually we started this culture. The other side of this being, there were another lot of people who wanted to be in our stands because of this culture.”