Northeast has always been open to the culture of sports and football has definitely been one of the most celebrated sports in this part of India. Nagaland has now rolled over to move a step ahead with the rest of the world in cheering for their favourite team this year and if you are a football fan, you would have surely noticed the houses hoisting the flags as well as cars passing by with proud waving flags of the country they are supporting. World Cup 2018 has definitely become a festivity rather than just a game.
With the FIFA World Cup 2018 kicking in ,we spoke to some of the football fanatics from Nagaland sharing their memories from previous World Cup, and their thoughts on what is going to be the destiny for the team they are rooting for and more!
Alem Aier, a teacher by profession, is a true Manchester United fan and says he is supporting Belgium this year. “My favourite memory last year was organizing the screening of final match at police point, Mokokchung.”
24 year old Akika Kiba, considers himself to be the biggest Liverpool fan and feels obliged to support England, being an avid follower of English premier league and also cheer for the teams with Liverpool players in it especially, Brazil.
Akika’s take on World Cup 2018 is interestingly detailed as he talks about different countries’ chances of lifting the cup, on how France has a 19 year old Mbappe currently taking football world in another dynamic to Spain and Germany also being his favourites to Croatia having the most experienced players and settling to Portugal having Ronaldo can turn cards.
His first World Cup was in the year 2002 where Brazil won and ever since then it has become the most awaited season where he gets ready buying flags, banners and jerseys months ahead. “I have seen videos of my friends from Darjeeling, Sikkim etc preparing for World Cup with streets decorated by flags, banners and people of all ages in huge numbers parading with painted faces. I hope Nagaland can bring up the hype even more!”
Rebecca Kits is looking forward to Germany lifting the cup again. “I have lived through 6 World cups and I hope to live through some more(20 at least) :D”
“World Cup has become a family tradition. Growing up in a football crazy household, as a child, even before I could understand the game fully, I highly anticipated the season as I would have sleepovers with cousins, swarming around the TV and bet on our favorite teams.”
Soyingo, a hard core football fan and a dedicated Chelsea FC fan says he grew up playing the game as much as he enjoyed watching, and it has always been a huge part of his life.
“My love affair with Argentina dates back to the 1998 world cup, I had just turned 9 that summer. To be very honest I’ve always had a soft corner for Argentina; though I’ve come to love and admire other teams too, Argentina has been number one for me and like every other World Cup, I’ll be rooting for Argentina again!
Last World Cup was a memorable one as it was my first time where all the boys gathered at my place, and together we soldiered through the very disappointing finals. I also remember watching the 1998 World Cup in black & white TV :D”
Grace Alem Ozukum watched her first World Cup when she was 16. Her favourite player since that time has always been Ronaldo- because of the obvious two reasons : his good looks and the way he aces his game. So without a doubt, she has always been a supporter of Portugal and will be rooting for the same this World Cup too.
Well, looks like Nagaland is definitely more than ready for World Cup 2018. Here is a glimpse of the preparation for the most awaited season – in the streets of Nagaland. Which team are you rooting for?
If you are around or living in Dimapur, Nagaland, Pre-World Cup party are being hosted for the football fans, which includes futsal tournament, penalty shootout tournament, FIFA tournament, Football freestyle competition, football merchandise stalls, food stalls etc. We hear A1 Powerplay, 3rd mile, Dimapur is putting up such a party.