NEW DELHI: As the FIFA fever grips India, malls and merchandise stores across the city have kicked off the football season with live screenings of matches, colourful team jerseys and a lot more.
As the excitement brews in the air with the sporting extravaganza beginning in Moscow today, football fans can be seen gathering at sports gear outlets in various parts of the city.
Sharad Chandra, an advisor at a sports store in Rohini here said his shop, decorated with FIFA-themed merchandise, has been flooded with supporters of their favourite teams -- Argentina, Brazil and England.
"Jerseys of Argentina are selling the most and our football sales have risen due to the World Cup fever," said Sharad Chandra.
The 2018 World Cup, being hosted in Russia, will see 32 countries vying for the crown. As one takes a walk in the malls in the city, the soccer excitement can be felt with fans, young and old, sporting jerseys of football legends.
Ajit Singh, a Delhi-based student was recently in the Rohini outlet of Decathlon, a popular sporting goods retailer, to buy Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi's No 10 jersey.
"I am a crazy football fan and I am here to buy merchandises to support my favourite team Argentina," said Ajit Singh.
While The City Centre in Dwarka has installed massive LED screens for live telecast of the matches, DLF Mall in Saket here recently opened a 'Soap Football Arena' for visitors to soak in the experience of playing football.
Auto-updating live 2D scoreboards have also been installed by many sports majors to draw in football enthusiasts.