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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Football euphoria grips city

Sumeer Singh, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, June 10, 2014
First Published: 23:18 IST(10/6/2014) | Last Updated: 23:25 IST(10/6/2014)

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup about to kick off in a day, football lovers in the city seem to be in frenzy and have decided to celebrate the tournament in their own unique way.

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The tournament is timed perfectly as nothing can hold back students from watching matches during their vacation. The event also seems to be a boon for football players in the city as training camps will be held at many football academies during the tournament.

Head coach of a football academy at Jamalpur said, "This time we have planned a 20-day long training camp for 45 under-17 players of the academy from June 20 to July 10. During the camp, players will be asked to watch matches and observe and apply new playing techniques to improve their game."

Football merchandise sale has also risen sharply. Jason Bajwa, manager (communications), Decathlon, said,
"We have jerseys of eight national teams playing in the World Cup and FIFA balls along with other equipment. More customers are visiting the store with each passing day and the response has exceeded expectations so far."

Jashanpreet Singh, a football enthusiast, said, "I am an ardent follower of the sport and it feels good to see that it is fast becoming popular. It will be fun to watch matches with friends and go for special screenings."

Rajbeer Singh Brar, an entrepreneur, said, "Football is a hit among the young and old alike. I foresee a bright future for the sport in our country."

City hotels and restaurants are also gearing up to welcome the tournament. Most of them have come up with special menus and are all set to hold special screenings for matches. Advance bookings are pouring in with many queries regarding menus and screenings.

Umeish Yadav, executive assistant manager, Park Plaza, said, "We already have a bar dedicated to sports.
Earlier it was IPL, now it will be FIFA."

Sandeep Kashyap, manager (food and beverages), Brewmaster, said, "We have a range of special discounts on beverages and snacks which would only be applicable during screenings.

Some hotels in city have shared special FIFA menus on social media and have received a huge response from customers.

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