World Cup fervor rises to fever pitch in Mokokchung

The favorite game is in town and fans are all geared up to celebrate the month long extravaganza

Limalenden Longkumer
Mokokchung | June 11  

For the football aficionados in Mokokchung, which would be a safe half of the town’s population, the World Cup is a month-long carnival. A walk in the streets of Mokokchung, an otherwise quaint township, would confirm their point. With fans displaying banners and hoisting national flags of their favorite teams in their homes, vehicles sporting miniature flags weeks ahead of the wonderful game, the World Cup fever has gripped Mokokchung yet again.  

It’s a big buzz and in every nook and corner, the talk is all about the World Cup and the teams. Business in the electronic market is also brisk with soaring DTH dish and TV sales while there is a renewal of camaraderie among buddies and neighbors with talks centering on chalking out plans on how to watch the matches together- night and day.  

Not surprisingly, Argentina and Germany have emerged as the two most popular teams in Mokokchung this time around. Traders selling “World Cup flags” affirmed that the national flags of Argentina and Germany were sold out so early into the season that they had to order more consignments. Brazil, Spain, Portugal, England, France and Belgium are the other popular teams if one has to go by the number of flags sold.  

The business of flags is so popular that some traders went out of stock of the factory-made flags of the more popular teams that they have resorted to selling home-sewn ones. Television (TV) and Direct to Home (DTH) connection sales have also soared with the onset of the much anticipated football extravaganza.  

Temjensoba, a dealer in electronic goods for nearly two decades, and a Germany fan, disclosed that his TV sales soared with the onset of the World Cup fever. Given the highly competitive market scenario, he is expecting to lure more buyers by offering up to 25% discounts on TVs.  

Apart from regular traders, some enterprising young people are cashing in on the ‘festive mood’ of the people selling Word Cup merchandise like jerseys, scarves, footballs, flags and other novelties and accessories.  

Arsashi Ozukum, one such enterprising young man and another Germany fan to boot swears that the World Cup is best enjoyed in Mokokchung. “It is always enjoyable and refreshing to watch the most loved sport with friends and family. Hoisting of flags, decorating the cars, wearing face paints and donning jerseys and other accessories indicates the uniqueness of Mokokchung from the rest. It is simply so exciting and amazing,” he says. “Predictions, debates and analysis add more flavor to the excitement,” he adds.  

In a sample survey carried out in the Facebook group ‘I Love Mokokchung’ that has more than 41000 members, a total of 1432 respondents voted for their favorite teams in a span of 48 hours. Although the respondents were from all over the world, it was found that Argentina and Germany were the top two favorite teams followed by Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, England and France.  

An emergent trend noticed this year is that football enthusiasts in the suburbs and rural areas of Mokokchung have shown equal enthusiasm, in fact exceeding the townsfolk in some cases.  

With less than a week to go for the inaugural of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in faraway Russia, the countdown has begun here in football crazed Mokokchung for the month-long extravaganza.