Jamshedpur, July 7: The Steel City is gripped with FIFA football fever these days. The greatest appeal of the World Cup is that it has been able to attract a diverse audience. While the city hotels are attracting football lovers with special arrangements, cadets of city-based Tata Football Academy are keeping an eye on the matches to pick tips to hone their personal skills.
For those who can’t be to Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Volgograd, Kazan, Samara, city-based hotels, cafes, restaurants and clubs are pushing hard to attract football fans as they put up huge LED screens and even prepare to serve gourmets with football-inspired dishes.
Hotel Yashwee International, Sakchi, is screening knockout matches from June 30 at 8pm at its sports bar, 60ml. Hotel Wave International at NH 33 has also chalk out plans for the big matches.
�We don�t have stakes in the game but sentiments are high. This best describes India�s anticipation for the FIFA World Cup as the city fans have painted themselves in the colours of Russia to continue a long-distance love affair with the �beautiful game,� said Prabhakar Singh, former president of Jamshedpur Hoteliers Association. He said that the city hotels have come up delicacies and special arrangements to attract football lovers.
�Almost everybody I know is following the World Cup. Football is a passionate game, playing it and watching evoke the same emotions. Ask any shop, with football merchandise pub or hotel and they will tell you that football is a craze here too,� said anRohit Kumar a budding footballer.
Moreover, huge screens have been put up even at different localities by fans, who would be spending their nights there to catch the action in Russia. Messi seems to be a particular fan favourite and his face dominates most localities in Jugsalai and Pursudih.
The epicenter of football in city, Tata Football Academy, had hosted a soccer carnival in the 2014 World Cup. The cradle is also planning a bash this year for its cadets. �It has been our long cherished dream that India plays in the football World Cup Cup. TFA has produced many good quality footballers. One day, these players will play the World Cup and make the country proud at international level,� said an official of TFA.
Meanwhile, the football lovers also feel that selection of Jamshedpur franchise for the last season of Indian Super League (ISL) also played a key role in promotion of the game.
Deepak Lakra, a budding footballer, said that he is enjoying the FIFA matches. He noted that the selection of Jamshedpur franchise for the last season of ISL took Indian football to a new level of professionalism. �It is a matter of pride for every citizen and it brought back national sports activities back to the city. It served a platform for the local players to show their talent,� he signed off.