10 Shots on Kerala’s Love for FIFA

Kerela shines brighter than any other region in India, when it comes to its intrinsic ‘football mania’. As the 2018 FIFA World Cup is underway, Kerala is geared to celebrate it with their blood, sweat, and even tears. With just some days left for the final, the Soccer fever is spreading like an epidemic. Streets and roads are decorated with mega-sized posters of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and other demigods of football. Infact there is a feverish celebration on in every village, town and junction. The football fever is rooted in the veins of Kerela and goes much deeper than what meets the eye.
1. Portuguese brought football to Kerala.

2. Argentina and Brazil endeared themselves to the football lovers of Kerala due to the number of superstar players the two countries have produced over the years.

3. Kerala has a huge fan following for players from both these countries especially Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

4. During World Cup, fans in Kerala are generally split between two camps– those supporting Brazil and those rooting for Argentina.

5. Kerala’s communist roots have a lot to do with its love for the sport.

6. The Left circles of Kerala are not regular football followers, but are fanatical about Argentina winning, because of their love for the revolutionary icon Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevera.

7. Neymar’s popularity has also influenced Kerala fans to sport the Brazilian jersey.

8. The most football crazy area in Kerala is the Malabar region.

9. Kerala Football Association is planning to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to India for a friendly match. If Ronaldo agrees, the friendly match will be played in the Trivandrum International Stadium.

10. Kerala Blasters in Kochi is in the record books for having the second largest average attendance among the Non- European Teams just below the Argentinian Club, Athletico River Plate.

All along the highways and alleys of Kerala’s towns and villages, there are festoons, posters, larger than life size cut outs of teams, players and individuals. The slogans printed along with the posters, hailing the players and the teams, are truly original. Most of the slogans (in Tamil as well as in Malayalam) would eclipse the prowess of the best of the copywriters. “Brazil is not our heart, she is our heart beat”, says one of the slogans in Kerala.