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World Cup 2014 : From Brazil with love: football frenzy grips national capital too

Medha Shri Dahiya and Mahim Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 13, 2014
First Published: 20:06 IST(13/6/2014) | Last Updated: 21:21 IST(13/6/2014)

One of the most  awaited sports extravaganzas of the year, the football World Cup, kicked off Thursday night, sending fans of the sport in a tizzy. Although the opening ­ceremony was not so ­impressive going by reactions on Twitter, and no-show from a few DTH operators played more of a dampener, all that didn’t deter the ­cricket-crazy nation from changing its ‘religion’ as they rooted for their favourite teams playing in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

From the likes of actors Shah Rukh Khan to Amitabh Bachchan and even Delhiites, many took to ­social media to talk about the sport as they sat glued to their TV sets in their favourite team’s jersey. The top 10 trends on Twitter were football related, even as Gaurav Kapoor, who was anchoring the studio telecast of the opening ­ceremony for Indian audiences, got flak for his comments.

No one, however, is smiling as wide as sports merchandise sellers and club owners — game-inspired apparel, accessories, gourmet dishes and drinks are scoring the biggest goals when it comes to sales.

Desserts and Dishes
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“From soccer stadium cakes to football cakes, people are looking for football-inspired desserts and cakes,” says Radheika Mittal, owner of the Exotic designer cake boutique in Civil Lines.

”The business has shot up incredibly. From cupcakes to cakes, everything is about Fifa now,” says Nidhi Bahl, owner of a Indulgence Cakery in Kalkaji.

Our Fifa food packs (meant for home ­delivery) with pizzas, nachos, burgers and beverages are a hit,” says Prashant Karan of the bistro Anarchy.

Merchandise

“Nobody is in as much demand as Lionel Messi. (Cristiano) Ronaldo and Neymar are popular, but the Argentine rules merchandise,” says Vikram Narula of Glued, a game hub in Noida.  “Sale of footballs, T-shirts, mugs, cushion covers, coasters and mobile covers are doing well,” Saurabh Kochhar of the e-retail portal, Printvenue.

While   the entire Bachchan family — actors Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek, Aishwarya — is working its schedule to be able to fly down to Brazil and watch at least a few matches live, others like actor Juhi Chawla have already booked their seats in the stadium to enjoy the game from the stands.

Star Speak

Actor Shah Rukh Khan tweeted, “And on the most exciting note….I am completely over the moon with FIFA starting. TV glue ready!"

Actor Amitabh Bachchan, like many, felt the opening ­ceremony could’ve been ­better, “Opening ceremony over!! Just felt could have been better...”


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