(That’s what you are probably thinking after the completion of the World Cup. Here is the story that I wrote for today’s The Kathmandu Post)
After 31 nights of football fever, Nepali football fans now clamor for a good night’s sleep, but they will of course find time for World Cup gossip and analysis.
Although joy over the fierce battle of the ball kept them awake most of those nights, it wasn’t easy living with sore eyes. “I watched the matches, for I enjoyed them,” athletics star Rajendra Bhandari said. “But it was tough and tiring.”
The Asian All Star gold medalist is preparing for the South Asian Games (SAG) scheduled for next month. “I would sleep well today as I don’t feel like I could train,” the Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) player added. “I couldn’t have missed it since it comes only in four years.”
The World Cup games, most of which began 45 minutes after mid-night in Nepal, even changed people’s daily schedules and their brain clock. “It was difficult to stay awake for the matches in the early stages,” Manju Lata Aryal, a BBA final semester student at Nobel Academy, said. “I felt tired in the morning, but later on it was easy to stay up for the matches but the days became tough then.”
The low turn-out for morning classes at many colleges was part of the impact of the World Cup. Students at Shepherd College of Media Technologies, Chabahil didn’t turn up Monday morning, making the day an undeclared holiday, as was the case at many other colleges.
The World Cup not only brought football, but it also brought business to many – especially shopkeepers selling jerseys. “Many would come to us requesting the printing of names and numbers on the jerseys,” Bijay Shahi of Attsh, a t-shirt house at Khichapokhari, said. “We had to work hard all day, despite the fact that we were awake in the night to watch the matches.”
For football-crazy people like Shahi, the World Cup wasn’t something to miss. “No sleep? That was fine. But missing the game was out of question,”he said.
As the mega-event is now over, the t-shirt business should see a slump, at least temporarily. “Now, we can afford to recover lost sleep,” he said.
For more hardcore fans, the end of the World Cup is just the completion of yet another event. “Now, I look forward to watching English Premier League and other leagues,” Prabin Karki, a third-year student at People’s Dental College said. “The quality of football is better in the league than in the World Cup.”
After watching the final at Basantpur, where they had put up a big projection screen, Karki was satisfied with the result. “I am happy because it was France that beat my favorite team (Brazil) in the quarters,” he added, recalling the favorite’s 1-0 loss to the eventual runner-up.