Football fever: Brazil’s defeat upsets Lyari

Many Brazil supporters were ready to leave before halftime as they knew their team had lost.

Tooba Masood July 09, 2014

KARACHI: Naseem knew it in his bones that Brazil might not win but he kept his fingers crossed. He wanted Brazil to win with or without Neymar da Silva.

“It just has to happen,” said the 14-year-old student. “I’m going to stay up to watch the entire match. They will win. I know it.” He had done everything to ensure that nothing, and he meant nothing, would jinx the team or their expected victory - he wore green, he was carrying a Brazilian flag and had a small wooden bench kept at a prime location to watch the match at the Eid Gah park in Lyari. Naseem and his friends were there at 12:10am getting hot channa and prepping firecrackers which they would light as soon as Brazil scored a goal or more.

His friend Bilal kept telling him that it was not going to happen. “Koi chance hee nahi hai [There’s no way that’s going to happen],” he said. “Brazil cannot win. Inka scene off hai.”

In case you’re wondering, Naseem isn’t a diehard Brazil fan. He supports Argentina. He wanted Brazil to play against Argentina in the final. That, he said, was his dream game. Two of his favourite teams of the FIFA tournament battling it out for the world cup.

Eleven minutes into the match, however, Naseem got up and walked up to the screen. Germany had scored. He couldn’t believe it. Thomas Muller managed to make it past the goalie. Twenty-three minutes into the match and Germany scored another goal. Naseem, now restless could not sit still. “This can’t be happening,” he said rubbing his forehead. “This is like a nightmare.”

Around him, the adults and other children seemed to be falling to pieces. Many of them got on their motorcycles and rode off. Abid Bhai and his friends had a bet going on for Rs5,000, he was sure Brazil would win. After the Germans scored the second goal, he quietly made his way home.

Some residents of the area who were supporting Germany became excited. They knew that if Germany scored another goal, their team would win. Less than seven minutes later the Germans had scored three more goals. Around 29 minutes into the match and the deal seemed to be sealed. The German supporters started making a lot of noise. Some even started lighting firecrackers and dancing. Things became so tense between both teams’ supporters that a fight also broke out. A punch for Brazil and a kick for Germany, it went on for a couple of minutes till people pulled the boys apart.

By half-time, the park which was overcrowded by 1am started looking quite empty.

Naseem sat on his wooden bench contemplating if he should hang around till the end of the match. He was upset as the team he was rooting for had lost before the match was even over. Bilal came around to his friend, put an arm around his shoulders and said: “It’s ok. They didn’t have Neymar but you still have Argentina!”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2014.



Honky Tonk Man | 7 years ago | Reply

@Amer: If I do, its only because they deserve it...

ali | 7 years ago | Reply When i showed this article to A brazilian friend, he laughed and blamed the incorrect brazilian flag in the picture above to have jinxed it for brazil.
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