A Kolkatan will be at the Lusail stadium in Qatar with 13 friends on Sunday to watch the Fifa World Cup final between France and Argentina.
Another Kolkatan is desperately searching for a ticket for the final match. If he doesn’t get one, he will settle for watching it on a giant screen on board a cruise ship hotel.
A third is at a resort in Goa where he will watch the match on a giant screen with 34 schoolmates, who have gathered from across the globe.
The three men from Kolkata spoke to The Telegraph on Friday about their plans for the super Sunday.
At Lusail stadium
Avijit Das, a resident of Palm Avenue in south Kolkata’s Ballygunge, has a ticket for the final.
The die hard fan of Lionel Messi, who had witnessed the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina in Brazil, plans to enter the stadium at the earliest.
“The ticket mentions that the gates will open at 2pm. The match will start at 6 (all Doha time),” said Das, who will watch the match wearing an Argentina jersey.
“I plan to enter the stadium at 2pm. In the two semi-finals, there were entertainment programmes and spectacular fireworks.”
Of the 14 in the group, eight are supporters of Argentina.
“I had seen the 2014 Cup final in Brazil with four friends from Kolkata. Messi had lost then. This time I hope he will lift the World Cup,” said Das.
On Friday evening, he said many parts of Doha were filled with Argentina and France supporters.
On Sunday, Das will take a coach from MSC World Europa, the cruise ship hotel for fans where he is staying. “We will go to the nearest Metro station and take a train to Lusail. From the (Lusail) station we will walk to the stadium. We will not carry food because plenty of snacks are available inside the stadium,” he said.
Match on ship
Nabanil Pradhan, a resident of north Kolkata’s Sinthi, who, too, is staying at MSC World Europa, is yet to get a ticket for the final.
“I had tickets for both semi-finals. But for the final match I am yet to get one,” said Pradhan, who is a Brazil fan but will cheer for France on Sunday.
On Saturday, he will visit the Fifa ticketing centre in Doha in a last attempt to get a ticket.
“I have heard that several Morocco supporters who had bought tickets for the final have been selling them since the country’s loss to France in a semi-final. But those apparently are being sold for thousands of euros,” he said.
“If I don’t get a ticket, I will watch the match on a giant screen set up at a bar on the cruise deck,” said Pradhan.
“The bar where the giant screen has been set up can accommodate around 1,500 people,” said Pradhan. “I can also go to the nearest fan zone to watch the match.”
MSC World Europa, the cruise ship hotel for fans in Doha
At a Goa resort
Howrah resident Korak Basu will be with 34 schoolmates from Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith, Purulia, at a resort in Goa to watch the final on a giant screen.
“We have hired the entire resort at Vagator. The resort management will set up a giant screen in the open air,” said Basu, who arrived at the resort on Friday.
“Every year, friends from the 1994 batch of our school meet in December for a private reunion. This time we had planned to watch the World Cup final together,” he said.
Basu said friends have come from the US and Singapore, too, to watch the final together at the beach resort.
Basu and most of his friends are Argentina fans. They have prepared special blue-and-white jerseys and bags for the reunion. The bag has the Argentina national football team’s logo.
Basu had been to Qatar to watch the World Cup group matches. He watched Argentina lose against Saudi Arabia and Japan beat Germany. He also watched the Uruguay-South Korea and Brazil-Serbia matches. “I wanted to watch the final with school friends,” he said.