Its The Big Day For The Titans

Updated: Jun 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
Today's the day the titans will clash. Four times World Cup champions Brazil will take on three times winner Germany. The German embassy in New Delhi plans to show the match on a large screen in the embassy premises to a select gathering. The gathering will include members of the German diplomatic staff and their families, the staff of the German embassy, Germans residing in Delhi and members of the media, both Indian and German.

We will be organising the event on a much larger scale as compared to the semi-finals is all that sources at the German embassy are willing to divulge.

The members and families of the diplomatic staff, staff of the embassy and mediapersons, some 50-odd people, witnessed the semi-final on June 25 at the embassy premises in New Delhi. The big screen was up and added considerably to the excitement as did the free-flowing Fosters beer, nachos and cheese tortilla chips. The diplomats, their families and the staff savoured every moment of the match. It was soccer fever at its best.

Many people had their cheeks painted in the colours of the German flag, and a number of people held a German flag in their hands and waved it enthusiastically whenever the Germans came near the Korean goal post.

Many people wore white T-shirts with the colours of the German flag at the back. But the clapping, whistling and hooting was not restricted to the German team alone. The diplomats and the staff cheered equally hard for the South Korean team. And whenever any player came near the goal post, the sound of goal, goal reverberated in the air. Shall we expect a repeat this evening The Brazilians may be way ahead of Indians in football, but in superstition, the two seem to be at par. Thats why the Brazilian diplomatic community in Delhi has not made any plans to celebrate, should their team win the FIFA World Cup 2002. At least, if they have a celebration plan in place, they are not announcing it. The reason is that we are also superstitious, confessed an embassy staffer on condition of anonymity.

Of course, we want our team to win. That goes without saying, but we cant say that they will win. Its out of our respect for the adversary. We will think of celebration only when we win, added the staffer.

For now, the staff and the families are only planning to watch the match together on the giant embassy screen. It will be more fun watching it together. Its so exciting.

Besides, each staffer is entitled to invite five guests. Fans desirous of joining in the fun are required to register their names in advance. This is for security and space reasons. The embassy has seating arrangements for 70-80 guests only. A few more people may be accommodated on the floor as well.

The idea is to avoid what happened during the semi-final, when lots of fans were disappointed because they had to go back because of lack of space, justified the staffer.

And guests can order whatever they want from the caterer outside the embassyand foot the bill themselves, too. As of now, the embassy is reluctant to promise Brazilian soccer fans anything. Remember, the stumbling block is superstitionand not money. Of course, all that will change should their team win. Well, only the final whistle can decide that!