Die-hard True Blues travel to watch Chelsea live

A swarm of blue-shirted football fans descended upon the National Stadium on Tuesday, as regional Chelsea fans came in to support their beloved club when they took on Bayern Munich for the first game of the International Champions Cup (ICC) Singapore.

Of the blue contingent, the Indonesian supporters were by far the most vocal, as they were seen cheering on their heroes with chants, flags and banners.

Known as Tangerang Blues Indonesia, or True Blue Indonesia, the fan club had a 33-member strong group fly down to Singapore for the match specifically. And when they learnt that the Blues will be going around Singapore in the coming days, a group of them booked tickets and accommodation immediately to stay on as well.

Said True Blue secretary Stara Anna, 27: "It's very exciting to see the players, especially the new ones and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

The True Blues spent three million rupiah (S$307) each for return flights, three nights in a hostel, match ticket, jacket and a three-day Singapore tourist pass.

"We liaised with the Chelsea Asia Pacific, and they helped us sort out the tickets because they actually pre- booked some sections for us," she said.

"They wanted us to get more attention, so we got the tickets through them and they've been very kind to us, giving training passes and insides of where the club is going to be in Singapore."

Established in 2014, the fan club boasts over 3,000 members in Indonesia, where they have match gatherings every week, both in Jakarta and in other regions.

Stara said: "This is our first out-of-country experience for us, it's a new and very fulfilling one.

"The most important thing is that our members are having fun, they get to see the players live in person. We had our banners being spotted a few times as well, so it's a proud feeling for all of us."

The True Blues will be hoping to see Chelsea live "as many times as possible" but have yet to make the decision on whether to travel to London. "Every time Chelsea come to Asia, you can be sure that we're going to be there," said Stara, whose Twitter photo shows her with former captain John Terry.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Die-hard True Blues travel to watch Chelsea live'. Print Edition | Subscribe