03 December, 2020

Dada And Kaka In Fever Pitch

In Calcutta and north Kerala, football fever takes on a new meaning as the World Cup draws near

Sandipan Chatterjee
Dada And Kaka In Fever Pitch

As you drive down the 65-km stretch from Kozhikode to the Muslim belt of Malappuram in Kerala, you won’t be faulted if  you feel like you have been transported to South Africa. Every few kilometres there are hoardings of teams participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with local favourites Brazil and Argentina hogging most of the cutouts. You enter Malappuram and people are thronging the streets swaying to K’Naan’s song Wavin’ Flag (tournament sponsor Coca Cola’s choice for World Cup anthem) at the local roadshow under way a full 24 hours before the kick-off between South Africa and Mexico. Football fans rev up on bikes, rickshaws and four-wheelers, each contingent representing one of the 32 nations participating in the World Cup, flying its flags and wearing the team jersey.

It happens every four years, as Cup fever shakes up this sliver of a state. But as is true with every game, fans have favourites and one must agree to disagree. Computer teacher Ismail Villan should know, he’s an...



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