Brazil versus North Korea, Denmark versus the Netherlands; as teams slug it out in South Africa, schoolchildren in the city are fighting their own battles: against parents, teachers, homework and sleep.
“I take the effort to finish my homework in school itself, because the matches are scheduled in the evenings,” said Krish Vyas, a Cathedral and John Connon School student.
The Class 6 student is not worried if his homework is left incomplete.
“I just get punished — it’s over in a day!” he said.
Vyas has been pulling on his Manchester United or Chelsea jerseys, pleading with his parents to stay up late, and religiously watching as many matches as he can.
Some are even taking on each other as the FIFA fever divides friends across national affiliation lines.
“We don’t bet or get into fights, but if Spain wins a match I’d celebrate by teasing the Germany fans in class,” said Navid Kagalwalla, a St Mary’s School student who plays on his school football team.
While for many, school has reopened after the summer holidays, others like Onam Sharma (16) are still in vacation mode, catching as many matches before the school routine trumps loyalties to the television.
“Right now I’m free but when its school time I stay up till two or three in the morning, then wake up at six, go to school, then come home and sleep,” said the Kendriya Vidyalaya, student.
Sharma and his gang plan to watch the big matches on the big screen later in the tournament, kitted out with team merchandise, arms bands, flags jerseys et al.
“You don’t get the feel of the match if you don’t dress up,” he said.
But not everyone is convinced by these feverish assertions of fanship.
“Now children just seem to be swept by the heard mentality. How many actually even know the rules of the game?” questioned Anumpa Diddi, a parent.
“So many just pretend to be interested, but do they really like it?” she asked.