The World Cup football fever has reached its peak in the state, especially in Malapuram. Generally, soccer fans are dedicated to the game by somehow participating in the World Cup in Qatar. From flying flags, billboards and cutouts to painting in their favorite team’s flag, fans feverishly try to outdo each other.
Unlike previous World Cups, this tournament was a hotly contested one. Teenagers across the country raced to outdo each other with the biggest cutout of their favorite football player. Lionel Messi stood up, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo. Those who found the 50-foot sculpture of Messi in Tanur claimed it was the tallest.
Several vehicles such as auto rickshaws, cars and bicycles were painted in Brazilian and Argentinian colours. Wherever he went, he stole people’s attention. “That’s exactly what we want. We want people to focus not only on the World Cup but also on our team,” said Abdul Rahman, an avid Brazilian fan of Manur.
Some have their houses painted in Brazilian and Argentinian colors. Despite the friendly atmosphere, the match between Brazil and Argentina receives enthusiastic responses from the fans. The stakes are high among fans. Mostly Arabic food, especially Kuzhimanti. A Brazilian fan in Malappuram has promised all Argentina fans a full meal of Kujimanti if Argentina wins the World Cup.
The football fanfare was also joined by youth organizations of major political parties such as DYFI and Muslim Youth League. They went to road and water rallies wearing T-shirts and waving flags for their favorite teams. Almost all schools, especially government and support schools, have organized some kind of program related to the World Cup.
Some staged the Argentina-Brazil dream final, while others staged trivia competitions. Along with the anti-drug campaign, football matches were held in several schools and clubs were organized.
PKMM High School in Edarikode, one of the most supported schools in the state, organized a football competition among teachers. Students cheered as teachers fought for Brazil and Argentina.
With kick-off just a day away, Malabar football fans are doing the irreparable. A night of trivia, shootouts and music on the history of the World Cup will be held at the Football Enthusiasts’ Forum in Malappuram on Saturday.