Field Day – The New Indian Express

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Express press service

BENGALURU: Christmas has come early for football fans as the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Sunday. Qatar being the venue made it possible for many sports fans in the city to fulfill their dream and watch the game live.

Rahul Narsinghpura, a sales and marketing professional from the city, will travel to Doha in the second week of December to watch two quarter-finals and two semi-finals. “When the World Cup was held in Brazil in 2014, it was not possible for me to go there for financial and logistical reasons.

However, in this case the connectivity from India to Qatar is easy with direct flights. Budgets are also manageable compared to South America, North America or Europe,” says Narsinghpura, who has attended Premier League games in London. He also reveals that he got his tickets for around Rs 25,000.

Abhisek Bhat, an IT professional, hopes to live his dream by watching Lionel Messi in action on the pitch. “The 2026 World Cup is taking place in North America and it’s still a challenge because it will take place in three countries and a dozen strange cities. The visa process takes time,” says Bhat, an Arsenal fan , which goes for the group matches of Brazil, Argentina and France.

This World Cup occupies a special place in the world of football since it is the last for the Argentine player Messi. This has resulted in Argentina match tickets selling like hotcakes and many Messi fans canceling trips due to being unable to obtain match tickets. Avinash Naidu, a city-based sound engineer, is one of them. “I’m a huge Messi fan and wanted to go see Argentina games. I kept trying to get tickets for five months when the sales started. It sold out very quickly,” says a disappointed Naidu.

He was mainly trying to get tickets for matches like Argentina v Poland, Argentina v Saudi Arabia and Argentina v Mexico. “I tried to book tickets for Argentina’s group matches. Obviously getting a ticket for the semi-final and the final is expensive. I was ready to buy an expensive ticket, but even the tickets more expensive ones were booked,” says Naidu.

Not just tickets, even accommodation has become more expensive with growing demand. Naveen Bharadwaj, a native of Bengaluru who works for a cybersecurity company in Dubai, explains: “Now with the World Cup, the cost is $500 per night (around Rs 41,000) and goes up to $900 (around Rs 73,000) in a three-star hotel. Typically, we pay $250-300 (about Rs. 20,000-25,000) per night in a five-star hotel.

BENGALURU: Christmas has come early for football fans as the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Sunday. Qatar being the venue made it possible for many sports fans in the city to fulfill their dream and watch the game live. Rahul Narsinghpura, a sales and marketing professional from the city, will travel to Doha in the second week of December to watch two quarter-finals and two semi-finals. “When the World Cup was held in 2014 in Brazil, it was not possible for me to go there due to financial and logistical reasons. However, in this case India’s connectivity to Qatar is easy with direct flights. Budgets are also manageable compared to South America, North America or Europe,” says Narsinghpura, who has attended Premier League games in London. He also reveals that he got his tickets for around Rs 25,000. Abhisek Bhat, an IT professional, hopes to live his dream by watching Lionel Messi in action on the pitch. “The 2026 World Cup is taking place in North America and it’s still a challenge because it will take place in three countries and a dozen strange cities. The visa process takes time,” says Bhat, an Arsenal fan, who is going for the group matches of Brazil, Argentina and France. This World Cup occupies a special place in the world of football since it is the last for the Argentine player Messi. This has resulted in Argentina match tickets selling like hotcakes and many Messi fans canceling trips due to being unable to obtain match tickets. Avinash Naidu, a city-based sound engineer, is one of them. “I’m a huge Messi fan and wanted to go see Argentina games. I kept trying to get tickets for five months when the sales started. It sold out very quickly,” says a disappointed Naidu. He was mainly trying to get tickets for matches like Argentina v Poland, Argentina v Saudi Arabia and Argentina v Mexico. “I tried to book tickets for the Argentina group matches. Obviously, getting a ticket for the semi-final and the final is expensive. I was ready to buy an expensive ticket, but even the most expensive tickets were booked,” says Naidu. Not just tickets, even accommodation has become more expensive with growing demand. Naveen Bharadwaj, a native of Bengaluru who works for a cybersecurity company in Dubai, explains: “Now with the World Cup, the cost is $500 per night (around Rs 41,000) and goes up to $900 (around Rs 73,000) in a three-star hotel. Typically, we pay $250-300 (about Rs. 20,000-25,000) per night in a five-star hotel.

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