Kerala in the grip of soccer fever
Calicut: As the Euro 2008 fever is gripping the world, its heat is also being in the distant shores of Kerala, where football is a way of life for many. The die hard aficionados’ throng in flocks to catch up the action of their favorite teams at the big screens kept at public places. The coastal areas of Kozhikode are already in the grip of this frenzied game.
People of all age assemble at places where huge projectors and television sets are mounted for the people to watch their favorite team in action. The Malabar belt of Kerala especially Kozhikode, Tellicherry and Kannur follow the game closely and football is more than just a game in this part of the state where it is a timeless passion and much more! The tradition of football started a long time ago in these areas and even today it is the most popular game in the State, retaining its past glory and fame.
The multitude of sports clubs is cited to be one of the main reasons for the popularity of this game. It is interesting to note that most of the football fans are traditional fishermen who nurture a staunch passion for this charming sport. Nynanvalap Football Fans Association is a club of this genre, which is actively involved in the promotion of beach soccer matches since 1996 and has received various sports goods from the official sponsors of Europe Cup 2008.
Many clubs make sure to conduct annual coaching camps to spot fresh talents and to mould them into master strikers. Part of the expenses is met by organizing the much popular ‘Sevens’ football tournaments, which see many local teams of repute in action. Business organizations in the city and Non-resident Keralites hailing from this region also patronize these football clubs, ensuring their sustenance and success.
Kerala is a place where people breathe and live football and it is far from just being a ball game played by two teams in contrast colored jerseys!