Football fever rages in Manipur as World Cup finals draw near

Imphal, Dec 15 (PTI) Football fever is raging through Manipur with local clubs and soccer fans setting up huge projector screens at street corners to show what Manipuris have dubbed the “Clash of the Titans” – the coming World Cup final.

Manipur’s women’s soccer team won the national football championship two months back, their fourth title win, while the men’s team which won the Santosh Trophy once in 2002-03, has been among the top teams in the national football championship.

Sanasam Bamdev, a football fan, told PTI, “almost all our locality clubs in Singjamei area have put up television sets or projectors for group watching where we enjoy the game, some of us draped in blankets while sipping tea to keep our senses alert.” On the upcoming showpiece event in Qatar, Sanasam said “the due clash between Mbappe of France and Messi of Argentina in the finals is being seen as a clash between legends Pele and Maradona by our football community here.” The World Cup final will be held between Argentina and defending champions France on December 18.

Even the state’s Chief Minister N Biren Singh, himself a former national player, braved the cold to watch on a public screen, the men in blue and white beat the runners up of the last World Cup to book a showdown with France coming Sunday.

Biren Singh had earlier revealed his choice when he wrote on his official Facebook page “Friends, my team ARGENTINA will win today’s match against Netherlands, Pls support.” Like any other places, fans in the northeastern state have always been huge supporters of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

Wangkheimayum Kennyson, an executive member of Lizard Library, one of the largest local clubs in Wangkhei locality in Imphal East district, told

Source: PTI News


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