28 September, 2020

FIFA World Cup Fever In India: Gali Gali Football Shootball

Following matches through radio static to plugging in—Indian fans have been steadfast as ever. But has the dazzle of European soccer held us in enthralled stupor?

In Camera
An old alley, a maestro with his bag of tricks, a group of gaping peers, graffiti declaring the advent of gods...World Cup comes to Calcutta
Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee
FIFA World Cup Fever In India: Gali Gali Football Shootball

If you keep faith in the Beautiful Game, the FIFA World Cup would arrive every four years as manna from heaven, a cornucopia that is soul food as well as sensual indulgence. While Indian football fans have not thrown up a team their countrymen could root for, they have absorbed, nay inhered, world football through the decades. The nat­­ure of fandom has changed too—from those who fought over broadsheets to read about ‘what happened last night’ to those who can now plug a pair of earphones into their smartphones and transport themselves into a live game. Football has been changing too, with the technology revolution laying its hand on the techni­ques  of football, as on everything else. Yet, in its essence, it’s still what a lay observer will say it is: 22 ind­­ividuals on a lush field running after a leather orb.




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