Person of the Week: The Wannabe Indian Football Fan

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Person of the Week: The Wannabe Indian Football Fan

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

n case you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t have an internet connection (practically the same thing), you may not know that the FIFA World Cup has kicked-off in Russia. After four years wandering in a metaphorical desert of cricket and the IPL, Indian football fans can finally come out of exile. What do you know, there’s even a Moses playing the World Cup to lead them back to the Promised Land! For switching their loyalties from cricket to football faster than Ronaldo can fake a dive, cheering for a country they can’t point on the world map, and pretending to understand the offside rule, the Indian football fan is our Person of the Week.   

All year round, these Indian fans falsely identify with some European team, proudly declaring “we won!” when Real Madrid or Manchester United lifts a trophy. The World Cup is an opportunity to stake a claim to not just a foreign city, but a whole country, your “doosri country”, as the FIFA ad suggests. So expect your friend from Borivali to cheer for Brazil louder than he cheered for Chhetri because that’s just how an Indian football fan rolls. It doesn’t matter if the only interactions they’ve had with their chosen team are through a PlayStation controller, they still consider themselves more important to “their side” than Neymar and Thiago Silva.

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