By Soul Sword-
The 2018 FIFA world cup is just around the corner and I am really excited about it. India is a nation where the majority of people follow cricket. So football enthusiasts like me are always searching for a company to watch the matches. Whenever the world cup comes along I scan my friend list to find out if anyone shares the same interest as me. I even persuade my newfound friends to watch it along with me. Usually, just a couple of my friends watch football (the rest of them watch the league or international cricket matches).
My biological clock adjusts to the time zone of the World Cup hosting country as the good matches always fall on odd hours in India. Usually, mine will be the only television on in our street during these matches. I still remember that during my school days, a time when only the parents had mobile phones, we used to get our hands on their phones at night and ping friends live updates of the matches while having our midnight snacks.
The 2002 FIFA world cup was when I first started following football. My school had just reopened after the summer vacation and my classmates didn’t want to watch it because India did not make it to the group stage. Since it was hosted by South Korea and Japan the matches came on in the evenings (Indian Standard Time), so I thought I could give it a try. What I enjoyed most about football was the fact that, as I was starting new my spirit of sportsmanship was really high. Once the match started the players’ contagious enthusiasm spread to the spectators and to everyone watching it throughout the world. I saw the game without any favouritism and used to cheer for both the sides, but that was short-lived. By the end of the group stage the World Cup fever had caught on to me and I was rooting for certain teams to make it through. I had also learnt the basic rules of the game by that time. To my great joy, all my favoured teams made it to the knock out stage. From there onwards, all the matches were thrilling and they came down to a nail-biting finish with Brazil finally taking home the world cup. After the World Cup drew to a close, the next day I started watching the reruns of the matches. It was then when I realised that football had grown on me and since then I’ve never missed a single World Cup. After Germany, South Africa and Brazil, now it’s finally Russia’s turn.
At last the world cup is here as Russia is hosting this time around, the match timings are convenient too. The Adidas Telstar 18 is the official ball while the official mascot is an adorable wolf named Zabivaka, whose name means ‘the one who scores’ and the official FIFA World Cup 2018 emblem means “Magic meets the Dream”. I hope a lot of magic unites the dreams of the teams. I am eagerly looking forward to a magical 30 days and may the best team win!
The Match Schedule can be found here
The Group Schedule can be found here
The FIFA Schedule with IST and points table can be found here