Vysarpadi, referred to as Chennai's Brazil for its passion for football, is gearing up to welcome the biggest football carnival of the year on Friday. Digital banners, big posters, colourful jerseys, loudspeakers, LCD screens and even cakes with designs of Jabulani (the official ball for the FIFA World Cup-2010) are dime a dozen in the football crazy neighbourhood.
A huge vinyl banner displaying images of football greats and the schedule of the World Cup greet you in C. Kalyanapuram, Vysarpadi. Football fans, aged 6 to 60 enthusiastically deck up the road corners with posters of their favourite teams.
“World Cup football is like a festival here which is welcomed each time with fireworks and sweets. The next one month will be a gala time as football lovers from Vysarpadi and neighbouring areas will gather at the playground on the Chennai School premises in C. Kalyanapuram to watch the games on a giant screen,” says N. Umapathy of Slum Children Sports Talent and Education Development Society (SCSTEDS).
The society members along with the help of residents and lovers of the game have pooled money to print banners and posters, some of which also have images of local players from Vysarpadi along with big names in the game like Messy, Kaka, Ronald and Beckham.
“This is great motivation for our young talents here who are playing for clubs and the State,” adds N. Tanagra, a resident.
A 40-inch LCD TV is being taken on rent to screen the first round of kick-offs. An LCD projector would be used to screen the quarter-final games.
The arrangement which is free for all football fans, according to organisers, is a step to bring together the lovers of the sports.
The celebrations at Kalyanapuram would kick-off at 7.30 p.m. on Friday with the youngest fan cutting the specially ordered Jabulani cake with rapper Canaan's World Cup 2010 promotional anthem Waving' Flag playing.