- Football fans in the southern Indian state of Kerala have always distinguished themselves by their love of football in a cricket-crazy country.
Sunday was no different, as the state prepared to watch the final between Argentina and France.
Makeshift screens were set up across the state as Argentine and French flags flew in the streets as thousands of fans gathered to watch the game.
But one couple stood out in their devotion to the beautiful game. The wedding date of Sachin R and R Athira coincided with Sunday’s final. While they agreed on most things about their wedding, they didn’t want to compromise on which team they supported in the final.
Sachin is an ardent fan of Argentine star Lionel Messi, while Athira is a passionate supporter of the French soccer team.
Over their jewelry and traditional wedding attire, the couple wore No. 10 jerseys: Athira wore one for French striker Kylian Mbappe, while Sachin wore Argentina’s colors for Messi.
Malayala newspaper Manorama reports that after their wedding ceremony, the couple ran through their reception and wedding party to return to Sachin’s home in Thiruvananthapuram 206 km (128 miles) away in time to see what turned out to be a sensational finale.
Kerala, where Messi has a large following, has been celebrating victory since Sunday night as fans waved Argentine flags and set off fireworks across the state.
In Thrissur, a hotel owner kept his promise to serve free biryani if Argentina won.
The state’s devotion to the game even caught FIFA’s attention last month when it tweeted about fans installing giant carboard statues of soccer stars in the state.
Brazilian star Neymar also noticed the statues and thanked his fans in the state.
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