Soccer fans in a frenzy in Malabar

Malappuram: Football-crazy fans in north Malabar are in tune with the FIFA World Cup beginning on June 11, holding road shows and erecting flex boards of players, official sources said.

The Malabar region in Kerala, especially the Malappuram district, is virtually ‘mad’ about the quadrennial sporting extravaganza and are screening public shows of their heroes.

Flags of Argentina, Brazil, France, England, Poland, Spain have been put up in the district ahead of the tournament.

A public meeting was held ahead of the World Cup in Kalikavu to support the Argentina team led by coach Diego Maradona.

In Tirur in the district, the sporting spirit is so intense that two teams were formed after Brazil and Argentina and conducted a friendly contest which ended in a goal-less draw after they decided that they were equal opponents.

The world cup model has been made here by sculptors on wood, cement and gold. A bike rally is also on in the district with campaigns for different teams.

Families of the football-crazy fans would be in front of the television screens from June 11, said sources from local people in Malabar.

Soccer spirit in the state is so pervasive that even politicians speak and write about football. Only the other day, veteran CPI leader and former Lok Sabha member Panniyan Ravindran published a book on the history of the football world cup.

Education Minister M A Baby, who released the book, said he was as avid a soccer fan as Ravindran and it was an unforgettable moment to meet Maradona.


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