FIFA World Cup fever grips football lovers in India

1:37 PM, Sunday, June 20th, 2010
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FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup

13.06.10 : FIFA World Cup 2010 kicking off in South Africa, football fever has started to grip Indians as well. A dance group named ”Flames” performed at a shopping mall in Mumbai to mark the celebrations of the World Cup.
“Whatever I was doing was just for celebrating World Cup. It’’s just the way of showing joy and pleasure to the game. I just love football,” said Archies Patil, a juggler.The group performed dance forms named Freestyle and B-boing. In New Delhi, bonded labour children rescued by an NGO, played a football match.
“A football match is being played here. Till yesterday these children were bonded labours but last week the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (NGO working to eradicate child labour) rescued these children with the help of government. Today these children are playing football, which is really symbolic,” said Kailash Sidharti, founder of NGO ”Bachpan Bachao Andolan” and International President of Global March Against Child Labour.
“The football World Cup is happening and through this we want to convey a message that games is related to freedom and education. Without freedom and education games are incomplete,” he added.
In Bangalore, football lovers of all age groups celebrated the world’’s biggest football event at Gautampura.
Residents established a huge statue of football player Edison Arantes do Nascimentobest known by his nickname ”Pele” at Gautampura square.
The entire locality is fan of the Brazilian team. The other teams they favour are Argentina and England.“Favourite team in this locality is Brazil only and some England fans are also there. So we go for Brazil only,” said Kamal Pasha, a football fan.
Kolkata youngsters too have been gripped with World Cup football mania. People thronged shopping malls to watch football matches on giant television screens.
“I am here with a couple of friends of mine to watch the match here on the big screen right here. The matches are really exciting from the beginning. Lots of chances. Really exciting match,” said football fan Adideb Mukherjee.
India, ranked 133rd in the world, has never come close to qualifying for the World Cup, but that does not seem to have dampened fans” enthusiasm for the month-long tournament.
The event will see 32 countries fighting it out for the title of World Champions.


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