On Sunday, Aizawl FC, a small football club from Mizoram, embarked on a Leicester City-like fairytale by being crowned the I-League 2017 Champions.
Its fans, mostly loyalists from the city, were jubilant and broke into a frenzy soon after their side closed out a 1-1 draw against Shillong Lajong, helping them clinch the title with 37 points.
Scenes of celebrations quickly spread through social media, but a particular photo went viral in which the fans could be seen cleaning up the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong, the venue, after the match.
In a country that is not short of sporting enthusiasm, often showcasing exuberant displays of it, a gesture like this is rare and was appreciated by all on social media.
"Thank you Aizawl football fans for cleaning the trash after the match yesterday... (It) speaks volumes of your attitude. We, the rest, should learn from them," RG Lyngdoh, former deputy chief minister of Meghalaya, wrote on Facebook, along with a picture of the fans cleaning up.
A report in Hindustan Times, however, revealed that the cleanliness drive is not a frequent feature as Aizawl fans had left behind a lot of trash when the team hosted the crucial I-League match against Mohun Bagan, at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl on 22 April.
— Vijay Goel (@VijayGoelBJP) May 2, 2017
“The stadium staff cleaned the stands two-three days later. Maybe, the fans did not carry their trash back because it was raining heavily after the match that day,” the report quoted Peter Lalzawmliana, Mizoram Football Association, as saying.
After I-League win, Aizawl FC fans clean up #Shillong stadium ⚽️ , win hearts♥️♥️ ! Read story: https://t.co/HoWDIbBQ7L#SOCCER #FOOTBALL pic.twitter.com/y9C9vaduZj — Swachh Bharat (@SwachhBharatApp) May 2, 2017
Updated Date: May 02, 2017 12:37 PM