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FIFA World Cup: Flavours of Latin American still strong in Russia

The last but the biggest South American giants to fall before the last-four stage were Brazil, who suffered a 1-2 reverse at the hands of Belgium in a remarkable game in Kazan in the FIFA World Cup.

football Updated: Jul 13, 2018 20:41 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, Moscow
FIFA World Cup,FIFA World Cup final,FIFA World Cup 2018
Latin American fans have still hung around despite their teams exiting the FIFA World Cup in quarterfinals.(Reuters)

South American nations may have had an early bath from the World Cup but not their fans.

After Peru’s early exit from the competition, Colombia and Argentina lost in the Round of 16. France scalped another South American side when they knocked Uruguay out 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

The last but the biggest giants to fall before the last-four stage were Brazil, who suffered a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Belgium in a remarkable game in Kazan last week.

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However, with many fans having already booked their tickets for the semi-finals, as well as the final in many cases, there still remains a sizeable South American presence at the World Cup.

Roberto, a Brazil fan from Sao Paolo, and five friends of his were present in Saint Petersburg for the France-Belgium semi-final.

“We had tickets for both the semi-finals and the final and we return home on Monday (day after final), so we decided to come here and watch the game,” said Roberto before kick-off.

Next night in Moscow, South Americans joined a large number of Russian fans to watch England play Croatia.

“Once Argentina were out, we just wanted to stay here till the end and watch as many games we could. Russia has been great so far. We don’t want to miss out on the fun even though our team is out,” said Gabriel from Buenos Aires inside the Luzhniki Stadium complex.

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Not everyone has stayed behind though. “Most of the people I know have gone back home. Just four of us from our group of friends have stayed,” he said.

Moscow, in particular, continues to see a significant number of fans from countries whose teams are no longer part of the tournament.

The number of France supporters, however, surprisingly continues to be low a couple of days ahead of the final against Croatia.

First Published: Jul 13, 2018 20:04 IST