CHENNAI: Huge screens, clanking of glasses and cheering for the players, when every six is hit has become quite usual as soon as the IPL season sets in. However the same rush is missing, even as the world’s most popular sports event — the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil began. Football lovers attribute the 64-match schedule as the reason for the lack of excitement and also to the low-key promotion by foreign liquor serving bars.
“We have license to serve liquor only up to midnight. We have only 17 matches out of 48 matches in the group stage which start at 9.30 pm and the rest of the matches are scheduled at 12.30 am and 3.30 am,” said Vivek Sivakumar, food and beverages manager of a bar in the city.
He added that the game could not beget profits in business. He also said that the sale of hard liquor used to be double on days when crucial matches were being played.
“There’s nothing that equates a game with a couple of beers, when my favourite team plays. It would have been a lot easier, if the games were scheduled before midnight, as we would have definitely gone pubbing. Now that the games are at odd hours, we gather at some friends’ place where we can have liquor, while watching the game,” said Satyanarayanan, an ardent fan of Germany.
After the group stage, eight matches will be played in ‘round of sixteen’, while four of them will have the kickoffs at 9.30 pm. Similarly four matches will have kickoffs at 9.30 pm in the quarterfinals. Thereafter, all the matches will have kickoffs post midnight, including the final, on July 14 at 12.30 am.