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Football frenzy takes over Kerala: Some buy house to watch World Cup, others clash with police 

Football frenzy takes over Kerala: Some buy house to watch World Cup, others clash with police 

Published:21 November 2022

Two extremes of the World Cup frenzy in football crazy Kerala were seen as some fans celebrated the mega sporting event by buying a house to watch it and taking a golden statue of late Diego Maradona to Qatar, while a few others got into a clash with police who objected to blocking a road by their celebratory procession.

Palakkad/Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram | Two extremes of the World Cup frenzy in football crazy Kerala were seen as some fans celebrated the mega sporting event by buying a house to watch it and taking a golden statue of late Diego Maradona to Qatar, while a few others got into a clash with police who objected to blocking a road by their celebratory procession.
In Palakkad, a huge procession of football fans on Sunday donning jerseys of various teams got into an argument with the police personnel over the traffic movement being blocked by their celebrations and it led to stones being pelted against the officers and the police responding with a lathi charge to disperse the crowd.
Two policemen were injured in the stone pelting, an officer from Palakkad Town North police station said and added that an FIR was lodged the same day and on Monday 22 persons were arrested in the case.
"They will be produced in court today," the officer said.
He said there was no permission obtained for carrying out the procession which was using unauthorised sound and speaker systems to play music and that coupled with the large number of fans led to the road being blocked and traffic movement disrupted.
When the procession organisers were asked by police to move away in view of the road being blocked, they got into an argument with the officers and then started pelting stones.
"Two officers were injured. Their health is stable now," he said.
On the flip side, a prominent Kerala-based businessman -- Boby Chemmanur -- decided to travel to Qatar with a golden statue of Maradona which commemorates the legendary footballer's 'Hand of God' goal.
His journey, along with a group of persons from all walks of life, began on Monday afternoon from Thiruvananthapuram and it is expected to traverse through Kerala, Karnataka and Goa to reach Mumbai from where they will fly to Qatar.
The event was inaugurated by Kerala Tourism Minister P A Muhammed Riyas.
Meanwhile, in Kochi's Kangarappady area, 17 friends and football fans together bought a house, for Rs 23 lakh, where they can watch the 2022 World Cup.
"However, it would be utilised for much more than that as we plan to make it a space where future generations can come and play games, watch sports, read books, etc.," Haris Kassim, one of the group of 17, told PTI.
"It will be open to all. We bought the house a month back. We have already put in place some games, like carrom, that people coming here can play. The house is presently registered in our name, but we will ensure it is accessible to all," he added.
Houses in Argentine colours, huge cutouts of Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Cristiano Ronaldo, goal scoring events and fans walking around donning jerseys of their favourite teams and setting up huge screens in open areas or under tents to watch the game, are prime examples of how Keralites have geared up to enjoy the football World Cup in Qatar.
The World Cup kicked off on Sunday with hosts Qatar losing to Ecuador.


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