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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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Football: Not just Kerala, Bengal, or Goa play it, Kolhapur does too

You’d be astonished to learn how much football means to a city in Maharashtra, where they have their very own teams that play in the colors of Brazil and Argentina. If you thought that World Cup passion was only at its height in the usual hubs and sports pubs in big cities, you’d be wrong.

Kolhapur Football
Image of a historical site in Kolhapur, from Wikipedia.

The Suryavanshis got into an argument a few weeks ago while doing their Diwali shopping in a bustling Kolhapur market. The color of the “akashkandil,” a festive lantern, that Madhavi and Satish were purchasing to illuminate their home, caused them to quarrel.

Football stories in Kolhapur 

The lady was determined that it had to be blue-yellow, even though the husband preferred the one that was “blue & white.” The fight is the oldest in this football-obsessed city. The two competing local football teams in Kolhapur, Brazil vs. Argentina, wear the same colors as the superpowers of the game.

In “blue-yellow,” Patakadil Talim Mandal (PTM), and “blue and white,” Khandoba Talim, respectively, are seen. Satish, a once-fervent midfielder for Khandoba, refers to Madhavi as a “PTM mulgi.” According to the wife, “our wedding was nearly stopped by a football rivalry.”

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In a week, this rivalry between the most passionate tournament organizer in Kolhapur football and his wife, the principal of the CBSE, will escalate into what is at the heart of their domestic disputes: didactic defenses of which country is superior, Argentina or Brazil.

Following Argentina’s victory over Brazil in the Copa America final in June, Khandoba Talim unfurled their blue-and-white banners and circled PTM on bicycles while continuously honking to celebrate their team’s victory from the other side of the world.

Everybody enjoys football, no matter which World Cup it is. However, Kolhapur not only practices it for the entire month and a half of the quadrennial competition but also fervently believes in its kinship with the South American teams that play in their colors in the interval.

More stories related to football here.

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