The Telegraph
Monday , June 9 , 2014
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Soccer mania on menu

Gear up for a soccer treat being served on a platter.

In a bid to cater to the excitement of soccer fans, restaurants have started making special preparations. Some have already planned to decorate their places and organise screening of the matches for their patrons while others are chalking out strategy how to market the month-long sporting extravaganza starting this Friday.

Dine & décor

Raj Tiwari, corporate chef of Hotel Gargee Grand, said: “We will be organising special buffet for all matches as the restaurant will remain open whole night so that our patrons can enjoy matches with food. We will also offer discount to our regular customers as well as for families. While there will be a discount of 15 per cent for the regular customers, 10 per cent discount will be available for the families coming to eat and dine and watch matches.”

Raj added: “There will be different menus for different days. We will offer cuisine of the particular countries playing matches on a specific day. The menus would include German and Thai food along with European cuisine and Russian dishes.”

Hotel Patliputra Exotica has too geared up to cater to the football lovers of the city. Neeraj Kumar Sinha, the hotel’s general manager, said: “We will organise a food festival based on different teams.”

“As Fifa World Cup matches will be played at 9.30pm, 12.30am, 1.30am, 3.30 am and even 6.30am — there are some practical problems in screening each game live at our venue,” Sinha said, adding: “We will screen repeat telecast of the matches the next day. However, live telecast will be available for the semi-finals and the final.”

Hotel Chanakya too will be playing to the football lovers with special food and screening of the matches. Manager T.K. Sinha said: “As a few days are left, we are contemplating exciting offers for football lovers with special drink, food and décor.”

Fan frenzy

With city restaurants readying themselves for the month-long show, fans too are waiting with bated breath for the kick-off of the event in Rio De Janeiro on June 12.

Nilay Amar, a student from Kankerbagh and an ardent football lover, said: “This is something that every football fan looks forward to, and now it’s here.”

A staunch supporter of Argentina, he grew up watching Diego Maradona play. “Maradona was my idol since childhood and he still remains so. I have supported Maradona throughout my life. However, with the match timings being an issue, I will watch some of the games at my home and the rest at a live screening centre with my friends.”

“Even friends who do not follow football have agreed to join the frenzy,” said Mohit Jain, a young entrepreneur. However, he too rues about the odd match timings. “I have made plans to watch the games at home while going out for semi-finals and final with my friends,” he added.

Parting shot

There are some who are little unhappy about the plight of Indian football team. Bihar Players’ Association president Mritunjay Tiwari said: “Though every eye will be on the World Cup, where upcoming players will be benefited by watching their favourite stars and teams on TV, lack of infrastructure for the game in the city has deprived the football players of the state of showcasing their real talent.”