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In Bangladesh, the Argentina-Brazil soccer rivalry is a curious ‘frenzy’

Skull and Bones

Jan 29, 2011
United States
You may expect a pond fish to fly over the sky, but you cannot expect a BD football team to fight and join World Cup. This frenzy reflects the divided mindset of our people. We want something to quarrel with and fight each other. WC is a good occasion.

It is also the same with India and Pakistan. However, I expect Afghanis to improve their football if their Taliban leaders allow them to. A few decades will be needed.
If there is enough funding, I believe Indian football team can break into top 50-60 football teams.


Jun 14, 2016
If there is enough funding, I believe Indian football team can break into top 50-60 football teams.
Yes, you may be right. But, why then the GoI is waiting for a century before making a great Indian team? Could it be squabbling as usual?

By the way, how sports/ physical exercise is taken in the school curriculum in India? Without millions of young students doing physical exercise, do not please expect a good team to contest in the WC.

I think the Indian curriculum emphasizes text memorizing and then vomiting in the tests. No way, good football teams can be developed without mass participation in physical activities from childhood, Kindergarten, or Primary.


Aug 26, 2022

In Bangladesh, the Argentina-Brazil soccer rivalry is a curious ‘frenzy’​

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By Chuck Culpepper
November 18, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EST

View attachment 898179 A young fan of Argentina tries a jersey from a street shop ahead of the World Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

Why, of all the proof of sport as a glue of this planet, and of all the cases an armchair scientist might pinpoint as epitomizing sport’s power, and of all the damnedest things you ever heard, maybe none tops what has blossomed the past 40-odd years in Bangladesh.

Somehow, in a manner gushing down the generations by now, Bangladeshis have taken up fervent sides in the eternal soccer rivalry between — wait, what? — Brazil and Argentina. They argue back and forth about it. They trade artful shade about it. They fly the two relevant foreign flags about it and decorate balconies over it and even paint the odd bridge (or three) about it.

Very occasionally they brawl about it with rocks and bricks and whatnot, although that’s extremely rare while extremely curious.

All of this happens and heightens during World Cups in the world’s eighth-most-populous country, even as its giant capital, Dhaka, pulsates 9,503 miles from Rio de Janeiro and 10,420 miles from Buenos Aires. It happens in a country considerably madder for cricket. It happens even though it’s a smidgen shy of impossible to meet any Bangladeshis in South America (unlike in London or New York). It happens although most Bangladeshi fans who adore either Argentina or Brazil will never meet an Argentine or a Brazilian.

Yeah, you’re some beast, sport.

“It’s a frenzy,” said Aqueed Kader Chowdhury, a Brazil fan who works in telecommunications and lives in Dhaka. “If you really want to put it in one word, it’s a ‘frenzy’ that activates the whole country.”

“Oh, it’s huge,” said Nofel Wahid, an Argentina fan who works in finance and lives in Dhaka. “Bangladesh is a big country in terms of population, 170 million, and you can pretty much split the country in half in terms of Argentina fans and Brazil fans.” He said, “I have thought about it in the sense that it just kind of goes to show how in many ways the world can be pretty flat.” And he said, “It’s a funny thing, right? It defies logic, right? Why is this country in the middle of Asia, so far from South America, so hung up on this football rivalry? It is hard to explain.”

Wahid does try, as does Chowdhury. Most agree the rivalry budded in the 1980s, when the strains of Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 had yielded to some comforts, and people could afford color TVs, and World Cups began to appear, and the screens began to show the vivid greens and yellows of Brazil shirts and the vivid light blue of Argentina, not to mention that wildly vivid being, Diego Maradona. “He was just absolutely mesmerizing,” Wahid said.

It did not hurt that Bangladesh had not yet flourished in cricket, where nowadays it ranks No. 7 in one-day internationals (compared with No. 192 for men’s soccer). And it did not hurt Bangladeshis’ feelings that when Maradona scored his two forever goals in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals — one a marvel of charging through all humanity, the other the “Hand of God” and of skulduggery without apology — the victim happened to be England, former colonizer.

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Bangladeshi artists work on a mural in a street in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in November, showing famous soccer players as Mohamed Salah, Pele, Diego Armando Maradona, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to celebrate the upcoming World Cup. (Monirul Alam/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

By the 1990 World Cup, beamed in from Italy, Bangladeshis gathered almost ritually, the gatherings becoming deathless childhood memories.

In the round of 16, Argentina and Brazil actually played one another (whereupon the world did keep turning). Chowdhury was 10. His home brimmed with “a huge feast,” he said, “like 50 of my father’s friends and associates,” and one puzzled boy. “It was very hard for me to digest these two teams that are thousands of miles away, affecting my family like this,” he said. “I could see tears. I could see joy and jumping” — and that part was from his mother.

He could see his team (Brazil) lose 1-0 on a Maradona-carved goal by Claudio Caniggia in the 82nd minute, and he could hear his father, Mahbub, and others lament with the old, “We played better, but you guys won,” and he could hear his mother, Atiyah, tout Maradona’s greatness, her Argentina fandom derived from her brother.

“I should not remember this from 32 years ago,” Chowdhury said, “but the memory’s so deep in my heart, because you’re 10 years old, and you see your uncles and aunts jumping up and down for these teams, and neither of them is us, right?”

Three rounds later, Argentina lost the final, 1-0, to Germany on a penalty you might even call disputed in the 85th minute, and another full household reacted, especially a certain 6-year-old.

“I remember it very vividly,” Wahid said. “I remember that there was a penalty that obviously went against Argentina. I remember that when Maradona went up as the losing captain, [to accept] that medal, he was crying … and I remember when I saw that, I just started bawling my eyes out. I remember my mom sort of giving me a hug. ‘Don’t worry, Argentina’s going to win again.’”

He laughed through the phone right then and said, “I’ve been waiting ever since.”

The whole eccentric scenario carries further eccentricities, as if it needed any. Such burning interest in the teams pretty much vanishes for three years after each World Cup ends and, Chowdhury said, “The blood rush goes down.” He reckons that most fans — including his mother! — couldn’t name four players on the teams beyond the hyper-famous Lionel Messi, whose Argentina team visited Dhaka in 2011 to mass gladness. He guesses that when Brazil and Argentina played the Copa America final in July 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, most Bangladeshis watched zealously without really knowing or caring about that event or its name.

They didn’t watch it on big screens in the city of Brahmanbaria, because the police forbade such throngs after a brawl followed Brazil’s semifinal, according to Agence France-Presse. In Barisal, a 2014 World Cup-time melee with 11 injuries began, according to Time, when a Brazil fan sitting in a university dining hall referred to the “Hand of God” as “illegal” (which might seem indisputable). A 2018 World Cup-time ruckus garnered a newswire headline in scroll.in which began with “machete-wielding,” long a pivotal headline word. And this past June, Agence France-Presse reported at least seven injuries outside the capital when a debate spawned that rare occasion: “a Wednesday brawl.”

Those rarities don’t define the realities. Those appear in offices, such as Chowdhury’s during the 2018 World Cup, when he and some colleagues wore Brazil shirts to work and put a Brazil flag on a wall, then posed for photos alongside at least one Argentina fan. Those appear in needling, such as that by Argentina fans after Brazil’s 7-1 mauling by Germany in the outlandish 2014 World Cup semifinal. Almost 10,000 miles away, Chowdhury and Wahid say, puckish Argentina fans began making a point of going into stores and buying the soft drink 7-Up, drinking it in front of Brazil fans and declaring their enjoyment of “seven up.”
“I’ve done that, yes,” Wahid said.

Those realities appear in how the phenomenon has decorated the very memory banks of those raised amid it. Chowdhury can revel in recalling the 1994 final in wee hours alongside his late father, when Italy’s Roberto Baggio skied his penalty kick and Brazil triumphed in the Rose Bowl and some 2 a.m. streets 8,022 miles away suddenly got rowdy.

Now here they go again, with another World Cup beckoning from Qatar, and both Brazil and Argentina more than viable. They say you can feel it in the air in Bangladesh, where the flag sales have intensified, where the Dhaka Tribune reports they’ve decorated three bridges around the lake town of Rangamati with the various colors (two Argentina, one Brazil) and where you might sit in any stall in Dhaka sipping tea while suddenly hearing Argentina-Brazil chatter.

All the while, something newly odd might lurk, something about the generations. With soccer from all over the world viewable all over the TV and the other screens, Chowdhury said, and with he and his wife still favoring Brazil but his in-laws favoring Argentina, here came this: “In the midst of all this, my son, who is 10, suddenly chose Belgium.” And Wahid said, “I’ve got a younger cousin who’s a Germany fan. It’s like, ‘What good does that do, being a Germany fan?’”

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By Chuck Culpepper
Chuck Culpepper covers national college sports as well as some tennis, golf and international sports for The Washington Post. He wrote previously for Sports On Earth/USA Today, The National (Abu Dhabi), the Los Angeles Times (while London-based), Newsday, the Oregonian, the Lexington Herald-Leader and, from age 14, the Suffolk Sun/Virginian-Pilot. Twitter
In kerala india two factions fought on the road they supported Brazil and Argentina .


Aug 2, 2018
The news is the evidence that human being was monkey! And some human being still remained money and living in Bangladesh! And they will always remain monkey!

( Or perhaps in whole south Asia?)


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Feb 4, 2014
United States
The news is the evidence that human being was monkey! And some human being still remained money and living in Bangladesh! And they will always remain monkey!

( Or perhaps in whole south Asia?)

This was called natural selection by Darwin.

The genes that cause stupidity are edited out by nature.

Cruel world we live in.

But it is what it is.

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