How Did the Kerela Blasters vs Bengaluru FC Rivalry Begin? 

The clash between Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC, often dubbed the “South Indian Derby,” is one of the fiercest rivalries in Indian football.

Unlike many other rivalries, however, this one wasn’t forged on the pitch in the heat of competition. their rivalry started even before they played their first match. It all began with their super-passionate fans and some special circumstances.

Keep reading as we look at how the Kerala vs Bengaluru rivalry started.

The Story of Kerala Blasters vs Bengaluru FC Rivalry.

Seeds of Discontent:

It all started in 2017 when Bengaluru FC, a rising star in Indian football, wasn’t even part of the Indian Super League (ISL). Two of their fan-favorite players, Vineeth and Rino Anto, left the team to join Kerala Blasters.

This move really upset Bengaluru’s die-hard fans, the West Block Blues.

While they understood that players move teams, losing their beloved stars to a rival club with a massive fan base like Kerala Blasters’ Manjappada felt like a betrayal.

Later that year, when Bengaluru played a home game against a North Korean side, Vineeth and Anto came to watch.

Most of the West Block Blues sang their special chants for the two players, showing respect. But some fans also started insulting Kerala Blasters.

Online Battles and Media Hype:

The tension really kicked off when Rino Anto complained about the incident on social media. After that, the fan groups started trolling and trash-talking each other online.

Social media became a war zone for these two fan armies. At first, it was just friendly banter. But things quickly turned ugly with nasty chants and online hate.

The media saw this brewing rivalry and added fuel to the fire. They kept comparing the teams, portraying Kerala Blasters as the big, established giant and Bengaluru FC as the ambitious underdog.

The First Encounter:

December 31st, 2017 – the day these two teams finally faced off in an ISL match. The stadium in Kochi was buzzing with energy from both sets of crazy fans.

It was a tight, intense game that perfectly matched the tension between the two sides. In the end, Bengaluru FC won 3-1, making the rivalry even more heated.

More than Just Football:

This rivalry is about way more than just two teams playing against each other. These clubs represent the different cultures of South India.

Kerala Blasters, with their army of yellow fans, stand for the state’s deep football roots. Bengaluru FC and their loud West Block Blues fans show the city’s modern vibe and big football dreams.

It’s not just a game – it’s a fight for regional pride and to be the top football force in South India.

The Rivalry Evolves:

Over the years, the fierce rivalry between Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC has matured a bit. The passion and intensity are still there, but there’s more respect and healthy competition now. They’ve traded big wins and heartbreaking losses, making their clashes even more exciting.

But then came the 2022/23 ISL Knockouts, where things took a wild turn. In their knockout match on March 3rd, 2023, tensions boiled over due to a controversial goal.

It was extra time when Bengaluru’s captain Sunil Chhetri scored from a quick free-kick. Kerala’s players were caught off guard and hadn’t set up their defense yet. They argued the free-kick was taken too fast before they could get ready.

Despite Kerala’s protests, the referee allowed Chhetri’s goal to stand. This infuriated Kerala’s coach Ivan Vukomanović so much that he ordered his players to walk off the pitch in protest!

After discussing with officials, the referee ended the match and awarded the win to Bengaluru.

This incident sparked massive outrage from fans and pundits, adding fuel to the already blazing rivalry.

A Testament to Indian Football:

The rivalry between Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC is one-of-a-kind in Indian football. It shows that crazy fans and exciting storylines can create intense rivalries, even before the teams step onto the field!

It’s proof of how popular football has become in India and how much fans love their clubs.

For these supporters, derby days are like festivals. They start preparing weeks in advance to create a hostile environment for the opposing team.

The Southern Derby has seen some of the most epic tifos in Indian football. And the atmosphere inside the stadium during these matches is electric!

Looking Forward:

The future of this rivalry is looking super exciting! Both teams are always pushing hard to be the best. Their matches against each other are some of the most hyped fixtures in Indian football.

As football keeps growing in India, you can bet this South Indian Derby will stay at the heart of fan excitement. It perfectly shows the crazy passion Indians have for the beautiful game.


Which is the biggest rivalry in ISL?

There are many big rivalries in ISL like the one between Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa, then there is the Kolkata Derby and the Southern Derby.

What is Asia’s biggest rivalry in football?

The Rivalry between Mohun Bagan & East Bengal often termed as the Kolkata Derby is one of Asia’s oldest and biggest rivalry.

What is Southern Deby in ISL?

The Southern Derby or the South Indian Derby is the big rivalry match between the South Indian teams in the ISL like Kerala Blasters, Bengaluru FC, and Chennaiyin FC.


The rivalry between Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC is unlike any other. It started burning even before they played their first match! Crazy fans and special situations lit the fire.

It’s not just about football anymore. This rivalry is about cultural pride and showing who’s the boss in South India. It’s the “South Indian Derby” that everyone talks about!

Recent controversies have made things even more complicated. But the future looks super exciting, with both teams’ fans going all out to see their side win.

As football keeps getting bigger in India, you can be sure this rivalry will stay at the heart of fan craziness. It shows how much Indians are falling in love with the beautiful game.

What do you think?

Written by TackleFromBehind

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