Brazil, Argentina are favourite teams of Chennai fans
Chennai, Jun 13 (PTI) Brazil and Argentina are universal favourites when it comes to football and it is no different in Chennai.
Soccer fans in the city are making plans to catch their preferred teams in action from the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in Russia tomorrow.
While several hotels here have planned screening of the matches, Goethe Institut, Germany's cultural Institute, plans to telecast the matches at its centre here.
Also, some soccer clubs will be screening the matches for the public at their grounds.
Slum Children Sports Talent and Education Development Society (SCSTEDS), which is into promoting football in the northern fringes of the city, plans to screen as many games as possible from the tournament as possible at a ground at Vysarpadi locality here.
The club's office-bearers told PTI that they would screen some matches at the ground at Mullai Nagar.
"There are hundreds of football lovers in the area. The passion for the game is immense and though they can't watch the matches live at the stadium, they are more than happy to catch the action on the big screen," M Thangaraj, who runs the club, said.
He said that N Nandakumar, who now turns out for ISL club Delhi Dynamos, was a trainee of the club and is expected to come and watch some games at the ground.
N Umapathy, one of the co-founders, said the club had been screening World Cup matches since the 2006 edition and added that there were several soccer-lovers who enjoyed watching matches in big groups.
"Over 100 gather to watch the matches. We are planning to screen important matches. The first game between Russia and Saudi Arabia will kick off things here for the fans,"he added.
There is equal support for Brazil and Argentina among the locals, he said, adding there were fans for Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portugal star.
Meanwhile, Chennai Kannikapuram Football Club also plans to screen the semifinals and finals for the benefit of the public at the stadium in the area.
"We are making arrangements to screen the semifinals and finals at the ground in Kannikapuram. We hope the local people will turn up in good numbers," said N Mathivannan, president of the club.
Goethe Institut will screen (live) the matches featuring Germany, apart from the knockout games, said an official.
Also, the Chennai chapter of Arsenal Fan Club will screen matches for its fans at select locations in the city, said its member Shankar.
US101, one of the few sports bars in the city,is prepared to screen matches and has planned a 'football-centric' menu, keeping the World Cup in mind.
"We are ready for the World Cup. We have a new decor and an a la carte menu as we screen all matches live," the club owner Shankar said.
On the other hand, soccer-lovers in the city are making plans to watch the month-long tournament at various places.
Rishi Manohar, who is a fan of the Spanish team, said he would watch along with his friends.
"Spain is my favourite team and so naturally I would like to see them in the finals. They have an excellent defence and an experienced captain. This will certainly help them claim the title," the VIT University student said.
Brahadeesh Srinivasan, a huge fan of the sport, has travelled all the way to Russia to watch some matches in the World Cup.
"I expect a great performance from Argentina as Lionel Messi is part of the team," he said, adding there was hope for interesting matches as the best sides are there.
Kavya, a student of MOP Vaishnav College for women, said she was a big fan of Portugal and expected the team to do well along with Argentina.
"Portugal is my favourite team as they have Christiano Ronaldo.
But Argentina is most likey to end up in the finals as they have experience and skillful players," she said