Thursday, January 17, 2019 | ePaper

World Cup fever grips country

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The much-awaited World Cup fever has spread like a wildfire all over Bangladesh on the occasion of FIFA World Cup 2018, the greatest show on the earth.
The drama unfolds on June 14 with hosts Russia take on Asian minnows Saudi Arabia in the inaugural fixture of this year FIFA World Cup which kicks off at 9 pm Bangladesh time.
Like every football nation, Bangladesh seemed to have struck with viral fever of football. From capital to the remotest part across the country, the only topic for discussion is football and World Cup. Even the biggest festival of the Muslims Eid-ul-Fitr has taken background, people are engrossed more in talking and thinking about WC football.
Though the official kick-off is from June 14, 2018 but in a football mad Bangladesh, the unofficial competition has started among the supporters of different teams.
The competition was for hoisting flags of favorite football playing nations who are competing in the World Cup. The main topic of competition among is who will lift the title this year but they have now indulged in competition in the length of the flags as well.
Bangladesh has turned into a country of flags as millions of flags are seen fluttering at the top of buildings, terraces, bridges, trees, over the hording board, vehicles.
There might be lots of flags but supporters in Bangladesh are mostly divided into two major football playing nations of the world - Argentina and Brazil. A noteworthy number of people also support Germany and some other participating countries of the World Cup.
In most cities and towns of Bangladesh now the attention shifted towards wearing jerseys of their favorite teams, hoisting flags of their favorite nations. Jerseys are being sold in every nook and corner of streets, shops, markets, shopping malls, even vendors are seen in action selling flags and jerseys on foot.
The best part is that there are jerseys available at different price ranges allowing almost everyone to be part of this football mania. Street hawkers are also playing a significant role in the sales for both jerseys and flags.
They are seen selling flags and jerseys almost the majority part of the city. The towns and the villages wear a festive look with big banners decorated with flags and colorful jerseys.
Affluent people are not staying behind as they are also contributing to arrange television (TV) and giant TV screen in open spaces, fields and community centres to facilitate the fans to enjoy the matches together in very festive atmosphere.
As it has become a custom in Bangladesh, people gather in front of the TV and giant screen in big numbers to watch and cheer their respective teams. The television-makers are doing a brisk business as TV sets are being sold in a huge number ahead of the World Cup.
Print and electronic media have too engrossed in portraying the coming World Cup in their own ways. Newspapers have been publishing team stories, facts figures, fixtures, history of the FIFA World Cup, arranging quizzes.
Newspapers are publishing supplementary pages and special issues, while online and print media have arranged competitions to highlight the World Cup.
The country's garment sector has also gotten involved as they produced and exported jerseys of different countries taking part this year's World Cup.

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