Pray that weather god loves football

Fans plan evening out to cheer France, Croatia

By Our Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 13.07.18
COUNTDOWN BEGINS: Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow where France and Croatia will play the FIFA World Cup final on Sunday evening and (below) residents watch a live match in Parsudih, Jamshedpur, last week

Jamshedpur: They didn't get their dream clash between Argentina and Brazil. But, football crazy fans of Pramathanagar, a Bengali hub in Parsudih on steel city outskirts, are praying it doesn't rain on Sunday from 8.30pm onwards.

That's because the residents have planned to watch the Sunday FIFA World Cup 2018 summit clash - between France and Croatia - under the open sky on Durga Puja grounds.

A large canvas screen, snack stalls, cut-outs of players and national flags of the finalists will dot the grounds to match the fervour at the match venue, Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

"The Cup comes every four years and we like to mark the final in a different way. We have plans to put snack (dosa, chowmein, gol gappa) and tea stalls for fans to enjoy the big day," said Raja Roy, assistant secretary of Vivekananda Milan Sangh, the organisers of the bash, on Thursday. "We have also planned to invite some special guests, let's see. It's a big occasion and we wish to enjoy the action with everyone," Roy said.

He added that club members - around 350 - would convene a meeting on Friday on logistics. The club has already procured flags of France and Croatia from Calcutta to put them up on the grounds.

If the weather is fine, thousands will turn up on the grounds from Jamshedpur and its outskirts like Hata and Haldipokhar and start cheering for their favourite team, Roy smiled. "The flags of the participating countries spur them on. They shout, cheer and jump. It's very different from watching the match at home or at a lounge," he said.

He added ruefully that they also had nationals flags of Argentina, Brazil and Germany but "now they are useless".

Who are they rooting for? "Won't say," Roy smiled broadly. "France is a veteran and they won the Cup in 1998 while Croatia are the new tigers. We're only rooting for the weather. The skies should be clear, that's all."

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