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Football Fanatics Around the World

September 1, 2014

Fan-tastic football Fanatics
As the football-loving world has descended on Brazil, the on-field drama is being matched by off-the-field frenzy of screaming, singing, dancing, swearing, ecstatic, and dejected fans. Since the World Cup is happening in the world’s most football-obsessed nation, expect the excitement of fans to be an all-time high. Here is a touching base with some of the most fantastic fans.

England Supporters: Watch Out!
With thousands of die-hard England supporters in Brazil to witness the greatest show on earth, Britain police is worried that Argentine hooligans can create disturbance by targeting British fans ”given their shared history” of territorial disputes. This is one fan fight, we hope, is nipped in the bud.

Besides this, it is interesting to note that many football fans this time ( Football World Cup 2014) have come to Brazil from all over the world to watch the matches, but no football fan can be as ardent a lover of the game as those four England fans – Adam Burns, Dave Bewick, Pete Johnston, and Ben Olsen. They walked from Mendoza, Argentina to Brazil for 100 days for a cause, which is to raise £20,000 in order to build a well in Bahia, the northeastern town of Brazil. The place is currently undergoing a hefty, historic drought.

These four people have put forth the best example for all those fans who display fervent nationalism by taking part in skirmishes and hooliganism as to how the spirit for the sport can be channelized positively.

Brazilian Fans will lead the party
When it comes to football, this is a god country. And, since it is happening in their backyard, Brazilian fans lapped up tens of thousands of tickets.

There is a dark side to the football craze though, as violence is known to erupt in local matches in the country. Perhaps the sheer scale and prestige of the tournament will keep troublemakers away.

This will be the real thing: street partying, carnival costumes, percussion instruments, samba, and all that. And, if Brazil reaches the finals, the partying won’t stop. The mind boggles to think what will happen if Brazil lifts the cup.

The Aussie ‘Fanatics’
Fanatics club in Australia that started in 1997 is a well-organized, enthusiastic, and nationalistic support group. It is responsible for organizing trips and regular jaunts for following Australian sports at home as well as abroad. This time, for Football World Cup 2014, more than 1,500 Aussie fanatics or what one may also call “Socceroos fans” are present in Brazil to watch their most-liked sport. And, for those afflicted from football hangover, such trip is a must look out for! If one spots a group of guys and gals with Aussie flags painted on their faces and tattooed bodies, one should know that they are the veritable Aussie Fanatics — not a loose term to describe all Australian fans. It is rather a highly organised group of supporters that makes sure that its team gets ample support on foreign and home soil.

Netherlands and the Sea of Orange
The Dutch football team is known as “Oranje”, after the colour orange, which is historically linked to the Dutch Royal family. So when the fans come out in numbers, the crowd has several orange spots. If Holland makes it to the last four, Brazil will be coloured in shades of orange.

Spain’s Manolo: The King of Fans
Manolo el del Bombo (the one with the drum) owns a bar in the Spanish port city of Valencia. But that is not his real claim to fame.

Manolo follows the Spanish team wherever it goes — World Cups, Euro championships, et al, and he has been doing so for decades. His unstinting support for the national team has turned him into a celebrity of sorts. So much so, the Spanish federation reportedly pays for him to travel with the team! Brazil will be his ninth World Cup appearance as a fan or rather the fan.

Croatia, no hyper-nationalism please
Some Croatian fans have displayed recently a sense of hyper-nationalism that has not helped their image. In fact, it led Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Michel Platini to say: “I’m not happy with Croatia. They are a good team, but it’s unacceptable when you’ve got 100 or so ass…. among the crowd.” However, Croatia is also a big, powerful soccer nation and is often designated as a football factory. The Croatian fans are so ecstatic that they are also called as the ”Brazilians of Europe.”

It is expected that the fans from Croatia do not dominate the fan base in Brazil this time and to bring in all positive elements of their behavior on the show.

Italy’s National Anthem gets a soccer twist
”Ultra” is a term in Italy to describe hooliganism. There have been a few serious instances of violence by the Italian football fans in the country. One of the incidents, in January 2007, worsened so much that the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) warned to stop all football league. During the incident, Sammartinese, an official of amateur club died in a brawl between fans and players in Luzzi, a town in southern Italy. But it did not end there and continued to happen in the next month, wherein Flippo Raciti got killed in the match of Catania and Palermo. Therefore, FIGC suspended all the matches.

However, things have gradually become better. As this time some insightful patriotic Italian fans have, in the spirit of the game, gone ahead and replaced words of their national anthem with names of the players and the coach (Cesare Prandelli). And yes, it is on YouTube. This video is incredible for the enthusiastic Italy fans and Italy is sure a team to watch out for.

Money-spinner: Chilean Fans lead the pack
An ING survey has revealed that Chilean fans are most willing to put their money where their mouth is. They are ready to part with 526 euros from their personal savings to see their team win the World Cup. Italian fans came second. The US respondents came last in the survey list for their relative listlessness for the most famous sport of the world. According to the survey, the Americans would only spare 37 euros to see the US win the trophy.

German Fans come together under an open sky
Ever since Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup, ‘Fanmeilen’ (fan miles) have become popular in the country. This World Cup is no exception.

Tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of supporters gather around giant screens in the open, especially when the home side is playing. Like in Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate fan park. People gathered around the big screen in huge numbers for the Euro 2012 football game between Germany and the Netherlands. The German government has deftly dodged sound pollution norms by putting such venues in the category of sports facilities.

If one is in Germany during the World Cup, one knows where to head.

Football World Cup Viewership
One can see big screens being erected, for the 2014 Brazilian World Cup, at several places across the globe, as the football fever mounts and grips its fans,. For example, Giant television screens were put up:

at Seoul in South Korea
in Rocinha, the biggest favela (a Portuguese term commonly used for slums) of Rio de Janeiro
at Pantanal arena in Cuiaba
near the FanFesta area at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro
at Hermosa Beach, California, etc.

Furthermore, in the match between the US Vs. Ghana, ESPN’s telivision ratings hit gold. The US’ victory match pulled off 11,093,000 viewers and on an average a 6.3 US HH rating. This makes it the most-watched and highest-rated men’s football match. In the top-notch five metered markets: Washington D.C. led the pack with a rating of 11.8, then New York (10.2), Hartford-New Haven (10.1), and Boston (10.0). Four years ago, in South Africa, the holder of the most-viewed soccer match title in the US history was the final between the Netherlands and Spain with 24.3 million viewers.

Now the question that arises is this time which team will set the new records. Is it the US team or the teams in the finals?

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