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Giant Cut Outs Of Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar Spring Up All Over Football Crazy Kerala

There is no end to the football frenzy in Kerala. Huge cut-outs of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar have sprung up at street corners across Kerala. What takes the cake this World Cup are the cut-outs in the middle of paddy fields much to the consternation of municipal corporations. It is estimated that Keralites spent over Rs 4 crore on cut-outs in the Malabar region alone during the 2018 World Cup. This year the figures are expected to double. And if this is not enough the frenzy has moved on to another level. Around 17 football fans pooled their resources to pick up an old house for Rs 23 lakh at Mundakkamugal, near Kochi to watch the World Cup matches with friends. The house has been converted into a viewing gallery with the walls adorning flags of the 32 teams participating in the Doha World Cup and also portraits of Messi and Neymar. No match is enjoyable without loud cheering, fun and friendly banter, says P H Harris, one of the house owners. Following up on their elders, school kids from Perambra in Calicut and Shoranur in Palghat petitioned their Principals to wrap classes early so as to enable them to watch their favourite matches. At Doha Keralites make up the fan clubs of England, France, Brazil and Argentina. In fact, Keralites have their own football league in Doha, with teams named after each district of Kerala.