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FIFA World Cup 2022

Fakir Chakraborty Lane changes its name to World Cup ‘goli’ every four years

FIFA World Cup is being celebrated in this north Kolkata lane since 1990

Vedant Karia | Published 02.12.22, 05:35 PM

Visuals by Arijit Sen

Far away from Qatar, the venue of the FIFA World Cup 2022, a north Kolkata lane is all dressed up to watch football’s biggest tournament and celebrate the beautiful game.

World Cup-er goli (lane), as Fakir Chakraborty Lane has come to be known, is a sleepy neighbourhood around Girish Park-Maniktala that comes alive every four years and dresses up in the colours and flags of the playing nations.


Uttar Kolkata Dishari Club first took the initiative back in 1990 and the tradition has lived on.

“Our seniors started this tradition and I have grown up watching my father and grandfather decorate the neighbourhood for the World Cup. Earlier, we would only install standees but, in 2018, we decided to go bigger and painted the walls and put up streamers. From a humble beginning, Fakir Chakraborty Lane has now hit the headlines,” said Animesh Basak, a member of the club.

Basak and his friends have gone all out, adorning the walls with graffiti of legends like Maradona, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, apart from the colours of all major countries.

“Brazil gets top preference among all nations. This time, we started planning after Durga Puja and spent three weeks accommodating all the countries. While we are still partial to Brazil (chuckles), we want to create a great football ambience and celebrate ‘Bangalir sera khela!” said Basak, adding that the club plans to install a photograph of the Argentina squad, too.

Flags of the football-playing nations are painted across the walls and streets and cut-outs of legendary players have been propped up against the houses.

There’s a huge poster of every single World Cup winning team since 1930 at the entrance to the lane.

Although the lane remains abuzz all day, with boys playing football, it comes alive in the evening once the matches kick off. The entire para huddles to watch the games at Dishari Club with frenzied excitement and the post-match analysis often goes on till wee hours.

“The energy is at its peak during the Argentina and Brazil games. When we can’t accommodate everyone inside the club, we place chairs on the street for people to watch the match. You should have seen the reaction when Messi scored in the 64th minute against Mexico. People took off their jerseys and waved them in the same way Sourav Ganguly did in Lord’s after India defeated England in the Natwest Trophy final in 2002,” said Basak.

The club’s former president, Subhas Chandra Datta, recalled how the World Cup has been bringing everyone together for ages. “The frenzy has significantly increased from our time, and the World Cup has strengthened our community bonding. At the end of the day, it's not a particular team, but the spirit of football that wins,” he signed off.

Last updated on 02.12.22, 05:41 PM

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