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Posted at: Jun 15, 2018, 12:21 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2018, 12:21 AM (IST)

Football fever, fervour & more

Every four years, the football world cup frenzy takes over one and all…here’s checking out how the city is gearing up to capture the mania

Manpriya Singh

Eleven men shielding one ball, the other eleven chasing it, 32 teams — one trophy. Unfortunately, there’s no barometer of football mania that precedes and succeeds every match, each goal whether scored or missed. Every once in four years, it’s safe to say two kinds of people come to inhabit the world; those who love football and those who don’t!

So much so that the onlookers (read non-believers) can’t help wondering what’s the ruckus about? As the FIFA fever grips the world, let’s see how tricity fares. 

Ronaldo, Messi rock 

Gunjeet Sodhi, founder, Kickstart, the mini-football stadium, with the pay and play membership concept, hasn’t zeroed down on the places for screening the matches yet, as that requires quite a bit of infrastructure, but can tell you how the young players are rooting for Ronaldo and Messi. “New names should emerge by the end of this tournament, as new stars will be born by the end of the tournament,” he says. 

Take the coach’s word 

Harjinder Singh, coach, Chandigarh Football Academy, feels it’s too early to predict who gets to make it to the knockout round, but feels Iran should surprise everyone this year. “I personally wish Argentina walks away with the World Cup because Messi totally deserves that laurel.” All of his boys in the under-16 teams will camp in the common room every time there is a good match. “We also have a camp coming up at Shillaru, Shimla, but we will watch the matches for sure.” 

Tricity & hospitality

Whatever goes well with a good game, the hospitality industry in the city is up for it. Beer buckets, big screens, loud cheers, lots of crowd; whatever ups the footfall and adds to the soccer spirit. 

1. Play Ground, Elante

Enjoy the matches with a special 90-minute menu, which includes finger foods and drinks. “We are more than happy to be doing something for sports-lovers and for a sport other than cricket,” shares the management over how care has been taken from screens to menu to give the feel of watching the match in a stadium.

2. Peddlers

They have come up with an innovative concept called full-day market crash, wherein every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, drinks are offered at lowest prices. “There will be live music performances during the match and special menu has been created in context of every participating country,” shares Vipul Dua from Peddlers.  

3. Tamzaara Café and Club 

A 9 by 6 feet screen, slightly transformed interiors and football crazy crowd await at Tamzaara. “For the opening match, people supported Russia and quite expectedly so,” shares Dheeraj Kumar, the manager.  He adds, “We have also crafted a special world cup menu that includes rolls, tasty bites, nachos and a variety of drinks to choose from.”  

4. Boathouse, Elante

Giving into the season, microbrewery Boathouse too is screening the matches and will be doing special offers on their craft beers over the course of the tournament.  

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