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World Cup 2014 : Soccer-crazy Kerala mourns Brazil tragedy, shutdown in some areas

Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times  Thiruvananthapuram, July 09, 2014
First Published: 18:12 IST(9/7/2014) | Last Updated: 18:18 IST(9/7/2014)

Like the whole of Brazil, Brazilia couldn't sleep on Tuesday night.  The football tragedy hounded the corporation councillor of Kozhikode.

The 30-year-old Muslim League leader is sure it will take long for the land of soccer to recover from the 7-1 wound. "Disturbed, I couldn't sleep after the match. I never expected such a rout."

Brazilia was not alone. Some areas of soccer-crazy Malabar (north Kerala) observed a shutdown on Wednesday to mourn the humiliating defeat of their favourite team. Like the Belo Horizonte stadium where the tragedy unfolded, most of the fans left big screen venues in a huff even before the close. 
 
"Klose closed all our options," one of them pasted a poster before leaving the venue in Ninamvalappu, a football hotspot of the country on the outskirts of Kozhikode.

"The match proved beyond doubt that only techniques win the game not feelings and roaring," said NK Zubair, president of the Ninamvalappu Football Fans Association.
 
Angry, some of the fans took a vow that they won't watch another match this season, while some of them dumped their yellow jerseys at the screening venues. But the seasoned ones consoled the young blooded saying, "After all it's a game, you have to take it sportingly."
 
Similar scenes unfolded in MLA hostel in Thiruvananthapuram. Unlike being segregated into treasury and opposition benches, politicians assembled in a room and watched the game. Once the onslaught began, unlike the House, pin-drop silence prevailed in the room.  "It seems Germany is playing with India," one of the MLAs was heard saying indignantly.

In Kannur (north Malabar) CPI state secretary Panniyan Ravindran, also a football enthusiast, could not control his tears. Like his favorite Neymar, he's also injured (a fall in the Kerala House bathroom in Delhi injured his vertebra). 

"Two main players' absence tilted the rhythm and balance of the team," he found a reason for the drubbing.

In Malabar, police took extra vigil to ensure that desperate fans of Brazil won't attack Argentine flags and posters.

Just hours before the ball rolled on Tuesday, another drama unfolded in the state capital. News spread like wildfire that injured Neymar would be airlifted to Kerala for Ayurveda treatment. 

Smart scribes even selected hotels for his stay and interviewed the main chef asking palettes they would offer to ailing Neymar. The air was cleared only in the midnight after CM Oommen Chandy intervened. The request for treatment came from Indian fans, and not Brazilian Football Federation.


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