Kolkata, June 22 : Euro 2008 football fever has gripped Kolkata where people gather at public places to watch football matches on television screens and cheer their favourite teams.
In a cricket crazy country, Kolkata presents a different picture with its love for football. The 153 FIFA ranking of India has failed to dampen the spirits of football loving Kolkatans.
Some of the premier football clubs of the country like East Bengal club, Mohammedan Sporting club and Mohun Bagan club hail from this football crazy city.
However, people here are upset with the poor state of the game in the country.
Chunni Goswami, a former football player said that football was a game where strength, shape and size of a player mattered because it required body contact. Unfortunately, the Indian football team was not as strong as the Europeans, the Middle East people, Koreans or the Japanese that was why they failed in international tournaments.
Dipankar Bose, a local football enthusiast said his favourite team in Euro cup was Germany. The zest with which Ballack and Podolski played and the passion of the team to fight made him admire it. They strived hard to win till the last moment of the match and would win the tournament. Another football enthusiast, Subrato Das said he supported Germany because they played total football. They did not loose hope, and hoped that they would win the Euro Cup.
Happily for the Kolkatans, Germany has managed to book a berth in the semifinals of the championship where they meet Turkey on Thursday. BY Soma Mitra