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Football widow? Who me?

City women refuse to mope over their men deserting them during the World Cup. They’ve got a host of plans to put their free time to good use.

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2010 02:16 IST
Radhika Raj
Radhika Raj
Hindustan Times

As football fever grips city men, women are showing them the red card.

“Men get sickeningly emotional about football,” said Lakshmi Javeri, 29, a mediaperson whose husband, Jay, is a football fanatic. “If the team they are supporting loses, the dinner is doomed.” defines “football widow” as “a woman who must cope with the temporary death of her relationship during football games.” The tribe grows during the World Cup.

Survival guides for World Cup widows abound on the web. Look at the positives, goes one tip, football is temporary, you at least know where he is and what he’s doing. Facebook and Twitter also have plenty of support groups. South Africa even has special tours for football widows.

“The matches take precedence over almost everything else. Luckily, my girlfriend doesn’t care,” said Arun George, 27, a media content provider.

Indeed, many city women are looking at it as an opportunity.

Rinita Kolsa, 23, a human resource consultant, knows she is not going to see her boyfriend for the next month. “Don’t expect me to sit and cry about it,” she said. “I have better things to do.” Such as watching Sex and The City 2 and hitting the spas with her girl gang this week.

Farhat Jahan, 31, who works in a travel agency, said her husband will return late almost every night during the World Cup, but she’ll cope easily. “I never get a chance to catch up with friends from work, school, college,” she said. “I’ll also hit the gym more often.”

Gwen Ferrao, 42, teacher, has made several adjustments over the past two decades because her husband gets paid to be football crazy.

“She has been very supportive,” admitted Ferrao, 45, a football coach and manager at Goregaon Sports Club.

“I often go on solo vacations when he gets busy with football,” said Gwen. “I went to Goa last year.”

Jahan has a better idea. “Take your man shopping after the frenzy subsides,” she said. “Hit the big stores, make him wait for hours, make him pay.”

Why don’t the men involve the women? Afrin’s husband Imran Khan (34) a brand manager and a Manchester United fan, says his wife has a very different perspective on the game. He’d rather watch it with the boys. “I watch because it’s a beautiful game. My wife watches it because beautiful people play the game,” he jokes.

(Inputs from Vidya Balachander)

Football fans add fantasy gaming to their craze

For most people, the World Cup mania begins and ends with the matches. But gamers playing fantasy football online have been hard at work for the past few months. Fantasy gaming websites like ESPN, Fantasy Premier League and McDonald’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Fantasy allow gamers to create their own teams by choosing players across nationalities and win points based on how well their players perform in the English Premier League, the Euro Cup, and the World Cup matches.

“We don’t support only teams but also individual players. We value performance the most,” says Harsh Jain (24), founder of fantasy cricket site and EPL fanatic.

Online forums help gamers to stay updated about teams and players. “It’s like watching the sport with your friends with the added thrill of competing with them,” says businessman Nishel Mehta (24), who manages a team in FIFA Fantasy website.
While regular fans derive satisfaction from seeing their team play well, fantasy gamers get perks. The prizes offered by FIFA Fantasy include a Kia Sorento SUV and a jersey autographed by a team.

Aalap Deboor

First Published: Jun 13, 2010 02:12 IST