With the World Cup football knocking at the door, the football fans across the country are busy collecting their favourite teams’ jerseys and other football souvenirs to join the quadrennial festival. From the street hawkers to the posh shopping malls in the city, businessmen are ready to cash in on the football mania in sports-crazy Bangladesh. The local made jerseys of Brazil and Argentina, the two South American sides that have huge fan base in Bangladesh, flooded the street shops and jerseys made in China and Thailand are on display in the posh sports goods shops.
The replica of World Cup trophy and Brazuca ball, which will be used during the June 12-July 13 tournament are also a hot item in sports goods shops.
Regal Sports, a prominent wholesale and retail sports goods shop at the Maulana Bhasani Stadium market, has alone targetted selling more than 9 lakh jerseys during the World Cup.
‘We imported 9 lakh jerseys this year and we are hoping that the all of them will be sold out before the World Cup kicks off,’ said Nazimuddin Babu, manager of Regal Sports.
‘Most of the fans are coming here to buy Brazil and Argentina’s shirts. Some people are looking for Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy’s jerseys. We have sufficient jerseys of all the teams,’ Babu added.
The owner of Ideal Sports, Mohammad Tayeb, however, said that the response was little bit less than the last edition of World Cup four years back.
‘We are preparing for a long time to sell a huge number of jerseys this year but 14 days before the World Cup we didn’t see much response from the buyers,’ Tayeb said.
The street hawkers and small jersey manufacturers, however, are satisfied with their business because the retailers outside of Dhaka prefer low-price local made jerseys.
The unprivileged and lower middle-class people also busy buying the low-price jerseys, ranging from Tk 80 to Tk 150.
Nuruddin, a street hawker, who is running his business for about 15 years in the Gulistan area, said that most of the office-going people are buying Brazil and Argentina jerseys for their children.
Amzad Hossain Maznu, owner of Style Sports in the Bangabandhu Avenue, said, ‘Usually we make huge profit by selling jerseys after the World Cup as many local clubs across the country organise football tournaments after the event. But this time the World Cup will end in the middle of Ramadan, so I think this time the local and rural football clubs will not organise football tournaments and that will affect our business.’
Students are the main buyers of jerseys and they are getting prepared to enjoy the most exciting tournament of the world.
Mushfiqur Rahman, a student of Ahsanullah University who came to buy five sets of jerseys for his friends,
said that they are eagerly waiting to see the World Cup on the giant screen of their university campus.
‘I decided to enjoy the games with my friends on the university campus and I like to present some jerseys to my close friends and that’s why I am here,’ said Mushfiq who will support Argentina at this World Cup.
Not all fans, however, are flocking at the jersey shops.
Salahuddin Raiyan, a BBA student of North South University, said he bought a jersey of Germany through online at a price of Tk 650.
‘It’s easier to buy through online as the shop owners deliver it at the residence. I am really happy as I could buy the jersey of my favourite team relatively at a cheaper price,’ he said.
-With New Age input