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Soccer fever kicks in

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Passionate display:With World Cup football round the corner, hoardings have been put up by fans at Nainamvalappu in the city to declare support for their favourite teams.
Passionate display:With World Cup football round the corner, hoardings have been put up by fans at Nainamvalappu in the city to declare support for their favourite teams.

Jabir Mushthari

Kozhikode: The FIFA World Cup football is still some days away. But sundry fan clubs and soccer freaks in Kozhikode city and villages had started their feverish run-up to the event several weeks ago.

Huge flex boards and hoardings with blown-up images of their favourite team members, accompanied by loud avowals to provoke the rival camp, have been erected in several soccer pockets of the district.

Nainamvalappu, in the south-west of the city, which is renowned for its football craze, is far ahead in the celebrations. A newcomer to the streets here could well be left dazed. The size and number of hoardings put up by football fan clubs far exceed the campaign boards of all political parties.

“The competition between fan clubs even led to some law-and-order issues in the area recently,” said N.V. Subair, president of the Nainamvalappu Football Fans Association (NFFA). There are fan clubs for almost every national football teams in the world at Nainamvalappu. “However, Brazil and Argentina lead the pack,” said Mr. Subair.

Mukkom, a small-town around 30 km east of the city is another hub of soccer mania.

Many sports and textiles shops here have opened separate counters for flags and jerseys of national teams. “We sell around 20 flags of different national teams daily,” said T.P. Faizal of T.P. Garments at Mukkom.

One can see the flags of football powerhouses like Brazil, France and Italy in several places such as Omassery, Karassery, Kodiyathur and Chennamangallur in the district.

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