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Joy and violence as Kerala celebrates Argentina as winner – The New Indian Express

Joy and violence as Kerala celebrates Argentina as winner – The New Indian Express

Of Express News Service

KOCHI: When Gonzalo Ariel Montiel scored the decisive penalty for Argentina in the World Cup final, the whole world erupted in joy. So did Kerala, which has received international attention for its love of the game, including from FIFA.

But with the jubilation and joy that lasted until dawn, came ugly incidents where fans became rowdy, indulged in violence and even police officers. While three youths celebrating Argentina’s victory were hacked by a rival gang in Kannur, two police officers were assaulted by fans in Kochi. Another tragedy struck when a 16-year-old boy collapsed and died in Kollam’s Kottakkakam while celebrating Argentina’s victory on Sunday night.

The incident in Kannur took place when Argentina fans celebrated by beating drums and bursting crackers at Palliyamoola. The taunts from some of them did not go down well with fans of France. In the ensuing scuffle, three youths were hacked.

The condition of one person was serious, according to the police, who arrested six people. In Kochi, two officers of the North police station were manhandled as they questioned fans whose celebrations caused a traffic jam at the Kaloor stadium junction on Sunday night. Three people were arrested.

Argentina team thanks Kerala for ‘fantastic support’

The ugly incidents threatened to eclipse the state’s passion for the game, which had become the talk of the town during the month-long tournament. Throughout the World Cup, Kerala had been in news for football craze and many fans’ mad love for Messi and Argentina.

There was a mother of five who embarked on a solo trip in her jeep from Kannur to watch the World Cup final, confident that Argentina will make it. There were fans from Kavaratti Island in Lakshadweep who dived almost 100 feet into the sea to set up a 3 feet tall Messi carving. Then there was the 13-year-old from Trikaripur who got sponsors to take him to Qatar to watch Argentina’s clash with the Netherlands after a video of him tearing up after La Albiceleste’s loss to Saudi Arabia went viral.

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Seleccion Argentina, the official Twitter handle of the Argentine football team, did not forget to thank Kerala after the final. “Thank you Bangladesh, thank you Kerala, India, Pakistan. Your support was amazing,” it tweeted on Monday. (With agency input)

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