In Pakistan, and specially the part of Pakistan I belong, summer bring number of things in the middle-of-the-road. Such things include myriad lawn brands, juicy mangos, skin infections (read phorhay and phinsian), the load shedding without any number of hours count, and viral diseases.
This year an infrequent viral disease has hit the urban area of Pakistan as it constantly does every fourth year but this time not so urban areas are also under the viral infection of football.
Pakistan is not among the “big boys of football” but the drone of football somehow hits Pakistanis every time there is Euro cup of World Cup going on. The following of English Premier League is relatively a new fashion; however, it has become the biggest source of football knowledge for Pakistani football fans.
Pakistan is not taking part in the world cup as a playing nation; yet, it has participation in it as after a gap of nearly two decades Pakistan made football is being used in the World Cup 2014. Brazuca (the official football for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil) has given a reason to be proud to a pride deprived nation.
Well this post is not about Pakistan and Brazuca it is rather about types of Pakistani football fans, I have been observing them around me, over the social media, and occasionally in the public gatherings where football is being shown. Hence, here is the list and it is just for fun do not kill me and please do not issue afatwa against me.
1. The true football fans
These is the purest football fan type that is found in Pakistan or among Pakistanis. They actually know the game, they actually love it, and they actually feel for their favorite team(s). Moreover, one great thing about them they never and Rai means NEVER change their favorite football team.
2. The Facebook supporters
Since the arrival and growth of social media, many new types of football fans came in the scene this brand is one of them. These football fans change their Facebook display pictures to the logo of their favorite football team, or the flag of the favorite football nation, or their favorite player.
They, perhaps, sometimes have zero knowledge of football but they will pose with their status updates that they are “very much in the zone” and they are the biggest football freaks around. In addition, if somehow they ever get chance to see the game live in the stadium their Facebook and other social media timelines are bombarded with updates and selfies.
3. The 24/7 sobbing brigade
Emotion is one of the significant traits of ours and we Pakistanis are master in the art of attaching emotions with literally everything. Therefore, this trait of ours makes the 24/7 sobbing brigade these football fans follow a team that seldom doses well. And every time in the tournament or in the season they lose more than they win. Even so, these fans never stop talking about their team but this “talking” is more of sobbing over the lost game.
4. The patriots
This is the football fraction of “gherat brigade” they just do not like football because Pakistan does not play at the highest levels. Their argument is simply “I don’t like/follow the game that Pakistan does not play”, or “why should I waste time on it Pakistan needs many other things to focus on than just a useless ball and 22 idiots running around it”.
This year this type produced a sub-type these are Brazuca fan boys they do not know a single thing (conceivably) about Brazuca but they like it and just cannot stop admiring it because it was made in Pakistan. You must have seen some saying; “yeh Messi ka nahi is Pakistan ki bani football ka kamal hay SubhanAllah kya shandaar gend hay” (It is not Messi it is that made in Pakistan ball doing wonders, it indeed is a wonderful ball).
5. For the time being supporters
They start following world cup football just because their friends are following it they pick up their favorite teams on emotional basis not the rationale. Though, when their favorite team disappears from the tournament in the earlier stages they become the biggest broken heart this universe has ever seen and stop watching football for next 2-4 years.
6. The strugglers
These are the fans who only follow football during world cups (or Euro Cups if a Pakistani TV channel is broadcasting that) only as a result the information about the teams and players they have is pretty much outdated. Therefore they struggle while coping up with the information people around them have for that reason they ask questions and struggle their way to get as much information about it as possible. Wretchedly, they are more anxious about the teams name their history players name etc then the game take place at that time.
7. The exhibitionists
They are loud not because they know a lot about the game but only out of habit. They try to show that they are the true lovers of the game and they follow it with full passion. They exhibit their passion by jumping around and flaunting electrified actions during a thriller like match, or they have a habit to celebrate a goal as if they themselves scored it. These are the ones who play football songs with loud volume, even if they are listening it over the head/earphones, during the football season and write Goal in their Facebook status with unconventional number of “Os”.
8. The financial expert humanitarians
These Pakistani football fans are critical about the earning of footballers and their utility. This type comes out of covetousness because their parents did not permit them to peruse their ardour about particular game. Therefore, now they spend time criticizing the pay some footballers get and they bring the financial expertise (if they have any) to create a comparison of what some of the footballers are getting and what they are delivering.
Sometimes they do it for “humanity” as their argument covers how much humanity could have been served with the amount any particular footballer is getting for a week.
9. The Jersey Boys
This is another new trend due to “globalization and brand oriented” shopping, now many Pakistani football fans can afford football jersey or merchandise of their favorite football team (this many is still limited to fortunate ones only).
Wearing jersey or other merchandise of your favorite team does not have harm in particular. However, what you can do about a person who comes to work wearing jersey of a football team although he does not even know name of any player in that team. These Jersey boys form this category of Pakistani football fans.
10. The football Knowledge house
Confession time I think I belong to this kind. We are football trivia buffs, we read articles on football, listen to the experts on the game. Some of us have Wikipedia articles about the game, history, clubs, players etc as our bedtime reading. Furthermore, with all this knowledge we put Facebook status, spread tweets, and pitch into the discussion to show how genius and clued-up we are.
11. The zanana fans
This is the cutest kind of Pakistani football fans; trust me I mean it I am not saying this to avoid the “misogynist” title that I can get over writing about this type.
Gone are the days when only boys used to follow and love football now even girls follow the game and some of them actually know about it and very much belong to the category number one (discussed earlier). But there are a few amazing gem like football Zanana (Feminine) fans and their total contribution to the game is one sentence, “OMG Football is Too Hot!”.
Written by Rai Azlan