by Arsalan Shahzad
The wait is over. Only a few hours are remaining before the commencement of the biggest football competition – the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Today, the 22nd edition of the global football event will begin flamboyantly. Its hype has reached its peak among football aficionados all around the world.
Football supporters are very passionate about the arrival of the thrilling 32-team global tournament, which kicks off on Sunday (today). Soccer enthusiasts In Karachi, especially Lyari and Malir areas, are keen to watch this mega-global event.
In the densely populated town of Lyari, also known as mini Brazil, there are fans who love to watch football. They are extremely delighted at the arrival of this global event. In some spots of Lyari and Malir, glimpses of the excitement can be seen as players’ photographs and painted sketches appear on the walls. Most of the fans have also put up flags of their favourite teams on the roofs of their houses.
Most of the Lyari and Malir fans support either Brazil or Argentina, the arch-rivals of South America. But there are some who support Germany.
Raheem Baloch, who lives in Lyari, keeps a close eye on local and international football competitions. He says that the World Cup is a festival for those living in Lyari. During the World Cup, special screens will be arranged for watching the football matches.
“Many Lyari spots have been painted with pictures of iconic football players, and sketches have also been drawn on various walls,” he says.
Ahsan Yaarjan, a student, says “The four-year wait is finally over and now we will watch the FIFA World Cup matches together to support our favourite teams.
“Portraits and sketches of Neymar, Messi, and Ronaldo are there to attract our football lovers,” Ahsan said. “In every match of the World Cup, fans support their favourite team, and if their favourite side wins then they perform the traditional Lyari dance Leva to celebrate their team’s success.”
Nabeel Razzaq, another football aficionado, says that everyone is waiting to watch the exciting matches of the World Cup in “Mini Brazil”, the name some people have given to Lyari.
Ahmed Khan is also among the fans. “Brazil will be the favourite in the FIFA World Cup, and Neymar will shine again as the key player of the Brazilian side who will score goals.”
Malir Saddiq Goth, about 30 km from Lyari, is another place where fans’ eagerness for the World Cup is at its peak and the fans there have also completed their preparations to watch the FIFA World Cup matches.
Passionate football fans living in Sadiq Goth have done special stuff to support their most-liked teams; some fans have put the flags of their favourite teams on their roofs while some fans have painted the flags and iconic players’ pictures on the exterior of their houses.
Sabina Hussain, a resident of Siddique Goth in Malir, is very excited about the arrival of the World Cup in Qatar. She has decorated the walls of her street with tireless efforts of her community members by painting iconic football players’ pictures and flags of the countries which they support in the World Cup.
Talking to ‘The News on Sunday’, Sabina said, “It has taken almost two months to decorate the walls with footballers’ pictures and flags. I did it with the help of Baloch community kids, girls, and passionate young football lovers.
“We have completed the special preparations for watching the FIFA World Cup matches and the community’s excitement is at its peak,” added Sabina.
She said, “Baloch community girls have also taken a great part to decorate the walls.”
Sabina says Malir football lovers are supporting Brazil and Argentina in this World Cup. But her favourite side in this World Cup is Germany.
Hafeez Baloch, who also lives in Siddique Goth, has made a special arrangement for watching the matches in a local ground. He says, “We are very excited about this event. A projector will be installed in the ground for watching the night matches of the World Cup live on a big screen.”