FIFA fever?s already begun | india | Hindustan Times
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FIFA fever?s already begun

WOULD YOU spend Rs 3,000 in five minutes on a certain gentleman with the name Park Chu Young? If you squint your eyes and mumble something inaudible then, count yourself of a generation past!

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 00:01 IST

WOULD YOU spend Rs 3,000 in five minutes on a certain gentleman with the name Park Chu Young?

If you squint your eyes and mumble something inaudible then, count yourself of a generation past!

The neo-Lucknowite of the young kind would whoop over with joy at the question. For, Mr Park Chu-Young is a Korean footballer named Asian Young Player-2005 and his photos are hot motifs on T-shirts, bandanas, socks, shirts, caps et al. Young city architect, Sameer Chopra, just picked up some of those insignia goodies in Sahara Ganj. And Young’s just one of the several international footballer stars making yuppie Lucknowites go gaga.

The FIFA World Cup begins on June 9 in Germany. The paraphernalia action in city bazaars has already begun.

“Young is a terrific player. I find in him an exciting footballer. I am already sporting a T-shirt with his action photoprint,” says Chopra. Sameer’s not alone.

His gang’s already collecting dope on the opening match between hosts Germany and Costa Rica in Munich in a field of 32 teams.

Six continents will be represented at the championships and six past winners will give the title a shot again. Germany heads the 14-strong European contingent and defending champion Brazil lead the South American challenge.

Stockists in sportswear and goods have brought in international items for football lovers in Lucknow.

“England’s David Beckham is the most popular. Lucknowites are mad about him and desperate to lay hands on a jersey of his team Real Madrid,” says Deepak, store manager of Adidas Shop in Saharaganj, adding that, “One T-shirt of Real Madrid Club costs Rs 2500 and it sells like hot cakes these days.”

He says, “Soccer’s making the youngsters go crazy. We’ve got lot of advance orders for T-shirts, caps, bags, shorts, different sizes of soccer balls etc., and we are trying our best to get the stuff in the next 15 days. But though Brazil are the defending champions, Lucknowites prefer accessories with the French and Argentinian logos and motifs”.

In fact, Adidas will be taking out a lottery for all the customers who purchase FIFA accessories and the winner may even get to g to Germany to see the action live.

Sales supervisor of Planet Sports, also in Saharaganj, D Dubey says, “A Rs 4,500 soccer ball with slogan ‘Team Gist’ is also a big hit among the kids. Many people are buying the balls just to use as showpieces in their drawing rooms.”

The roadside and smaller local markets too, are aware of the FIFA World Cup fever. “Our T-shirts can’t be compared with what the branded companies have launched, but we are catering to the needs of a big middle class society. I am selling T-shirts of FIFA World Cup at Rs 70-130, which are more in demand,” says Arish Gaurah of a readymade garments’ shop in Nishatganj.
So, when’s shopping trip kicking off?