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Football fever grips Nagaland

Team flags flutter atop houses in Kohima. Telegraph picture

Kohima, June 12: Football lovers in Nagaland, a state that has produced many national players despite poor infrastructure, have made elaborate arrangements to follow the action in Brazil.

Several football clubs will put up giant screens in parts of Kohima, Dimapur and elsewhere in the state and have invited people to watch the matches. Kohima Press Club has invited people to watch matches in the club building situated in the heart of the town. Club president Xavier Rutsa, a football fan, said a giant screen would be put up on the club premises.

Several cafes and restaurants have also put up giant screens. Shops have sold hundreds of television sets in the last few weeks. One shopowner said he sold 41 televisions since May. Uniforms and flags of participating countries are also selling like hot cakes.

“My cousin has sold 60 jerseys and shorts of different countries,” said Alice, a shopowner. She said most buyers prefer Brazil and Spain colours followed by Japan and South Korea. “My cousin has ordered more jerseys and shorts,” she added. A set of jersey and shorts costs Rs 700.

Flags of participating countries are also in demand. Thousands of flags of different countries have been sold; Brazil, Spain and Portugal lead the sales tally.

In some localities, fans have even hoisted flags of their favourite teams on their rooftops. Kenny Peseyie, a former football player from New Market, Kohima, said he does not want to miss a single match this time. He has recently bought a giant LED TV and hopes his son, Dennis, will become a professional football player. After all, Nagaland’s T. Ao was first captian of Indian Olympic football team in 1948!

The state power department has requested people to use power judiciously during the World Cup. The department is also on high alert so that power supply remains uninterrupted. In the past, angry mobs had damaged power stations and ransacked the department’s offices during the World Cup season.


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