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FIFA World Cup fever grips football lovers in India

Kolkata: As football lovers around the world are feeling joyous over the start of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, the football fever has started to grip Indians as well.

In Bangalore, football lovers beyond age celebrated world”s biggest football event at Gautampura, a locality in Bangalore.

The residents of this locality World Cup football is major festival that comes once in four years. So, they prefer celebrating it in a grand way.

The residents have established a huge statue of football player Edison Arantes do Nascimentobest known by his nickname ”Pele” on the square of Gauthampura.

But this year they have set up a big football and a football shoe of 12 feet height by the side of the statue.

The entire locality is the fan of Brazil team and the other teams they favour are Argentina and England.

“Favourite team in this locality is Brazil only and some England fans are also there. So we go for Brazil only,” said Kamal Pasha, a soccer fan.

In Kolkata, where many of the local youngsters literally view football as their second religion, has been gripped with World Cup football mania.

People thronged shopping malls to watch football matches on giant television screens.

“World cup is actually beginning today (June, 11), so I am here with couple of friends of mine to watch the match here on the big screen right here. So, really enjoying the match today. We have Mexico and South Africa playing. The matches are really exciting from the beginning. Lots of chances. Really exciting match,” said Adideb Mukherjee, a soccer fan.

India, ranked 133rd in the world, has never come close to qualifying for the World Cup, but that does not seem to have dampened fans” enthusiasm for the month-long tournament.

The event will see 32 countries fighting it out for the title of World Champions.

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