06/05/2018, 15.50
BANGLADESH
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Football fever breaks out in Bangladesh as FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 approaches

by Sumon Corraya

The World Cup will be held between 14 June to 15 July. Bangladesh, like Italy, did not qualify. Among Bangladeshis, the favourite teams are Brazil and Argentina. Play bridges gap between husband and wife, fans of different teams.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – A five-storey building on the outskirts of Dhaka has been painted green and gold, the latest work of Joynul Abeden Tutul, a Muslim who lives in Narayangaonj, near the capital.

Joynul is a football fan, and Brazil is the team he loves. For this reason, he painted the building he owns (picture 4) in the colour of the Brazilian flag. "I did it to support my favourite team,” he told AsiaNews.

As the kick-off of 2018 World Cup Russia on 14 June approaches, football fever has gripped Bangladesh. Although the local football team did not qualify, Bangladeshis have not given cheering for one or another foreign team.

Hanging from windows or roofs, the Argentine flag leads the pack, followed by that of Brazil. Some fans support other teams like Italy, which did not qualify, France, Germany or Spain.

Now the heat is on in bars, tea rooms and bazaars over which team will win the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Amzad Hossian lives in Magura, a village in the south-west of the country. He is a German fan for a specific reason: he recovered from illness after using German homeopathic medicines.

He found an original way to thank the European country: a five-kilometre flag (picture 3). In 2014, he had made a smaller flag, one that was "only" three kilometres long. "I spent 150,000 takas (almost US$ 1,800) to make it longer,” he said like a happy camper.

Jayanto Rozario, a Catholic, put on a play about the World Cup. In order not to displease his wife who is supporting Argentina, the main actor wears a split shirt: on one side, the Argentine flag, on the other, the Brazilian flag (supported by the husband) (pictures 1 and 2).

After actor Faruk Ahman wrote "Trouble free jersey" on Facebook, thousands of people saw the post and the picture went viral on social media.

Amused, Rozario said, "This is how peace is kept in the family". But the purpose is different. "With our play, we want to pass the message that there is always a peaceful solution. Conflict is not the answer!"

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