Live action on giant screens

Live action on giant screens

Riveted to a huge, imposing screen, footballers of the City’s Gautamapura will watch FIFA unfurl yet another World Cup in distant Brazil. When Bangalore sleeps early Friday morning, they will cheer and salute their heroes descending to conquer the Croatians. Glued to the giant visuals, they will look out for Pele among the crowds, the symbol of their unbridled addiction to the world’s greatest game. 

Over a decade ago, a different generation had erected Pele’s statue in Gautamapura.

It still stands, inspiring youngsters galore to take up the game, move up quickly to play for clubs like East Bengal and Salgaonkar. Unleashing that collective passion for the sport, they will converge yet again for the Cup finals. Mimicking the famed Samba carnival, they will sing and dance, walk in style, from Gautamapura to MG Road.

But the finals had weeks to go. On Wednesday, the players were in preparatory mode. Putting up a multi-starred banner of players of repute, printing posters of their home, the Gautam’s Football Club (GFC), they were regrouping again. “The LED screen will be 12’ X 9’. We expect about 500 to 1,000 football players and fans to come for the screenings. The atmosphere is bound to be electric,” beamed Ramesh Babu, a key GFC member.

In another part of town, at the Decathlon sports facility in Whitefield, a gathering of an estimated 400 fans will echo that euphoria. As Decathlon spokesperson, Abhay informed, all the matches will be projected live onto a huge screen erected at one end of a seven-a-side football ground. Anyone could walk in free for the screenings at Decathlon, ITPL Main Road, and be part of the frenzied cheering.

For those keen to catch the matches live in relative privacy, TataSky has launched an application, Everywhere TV, accessible on personal computers (laptops and desktops). Hitherto, this “television viewing experience” service was only on smartphones and tablets. Here’s the TataSky rationale: “This service allows youngsters to watch late night matches on their laptops and headphones without disturbing their entire family.” The App for PCs could be downloaded at www.tatasky.com/ mobile

Four years ago, when the 19th FIFA World Cup had energised South Africa to the beats of Shakira’s “Waka Waka,” Bangalore had rejoiced too. The fans had collected before a big screen in Murphy Town, celebrating the Spaniards walk away with the cherished Cup in style. Sporting Brazilian colours, awaiting a gala carnival, the Gautamapura fans hope for a different winner this time. They swear it is time the Pele statue wore a crown!

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