The FINANCIAL — The World Cup 2010 is heating up as both football’s avid supporters and laymen are anxious to see which two teams will make it to the final in Johannesburg on July 11.
The FINANCIAL — The World Cup 2010 is heating up as both football’s avid supporters and laymen are anxious to see which two teams will make it to the final in Johannesburg on July 11. Georgian fans have placed their bets and pinned their hopes onto the traditionally favorite teams in this country, but with one of them out of the game, some adjustments needed to be made.
According to Vlado Khartselauri, Marketing Manager at Adjara Bet, the most popular teams in the World Cup, in terms of betting popularity, in Georgia have been Brazil, England and Argentina. Such a line-up has been fairly traditional here for years.
The round of 16, however, brought its disappointments for Georgian fans: England’s 4-1 loss to Germany marked its worst ever defeat at a World Cup. With England now out of the game, some Georgian football fans have temporarily changed their loyalties. Khartselauri said that faced with a necessity to acquire new favorites, most of the English supporters have migrated to the Spanish club.
Giorgi Beridze, engineer of microwave radio relay systems for MagtiCom, said he has supported England for about ten years. “I like the way they play,” he said. “And I also like the fans of England, they are very good, going to the games and supporting their team really hard.”
For the remaining time of the World Cup, however, Beridze has his hopes pinned on Argentina. Betting with his coworkers on a random team each in a company organized event, Beridze can win 320 GEL with a 20 GEL bet if Argentina wins the World Cup for the third time (the country already won twice, in 1978 and 1986).
Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Spain and Uruguay made it to the quarterfinals, composing a group with the largest number of South American teams in this stage since 1930. Paraguay and Ghana reached the quarterfinals for the first time. In fact, Ghana defeated the United States to become the third African team in history to join the last eight.
Tbilisi provides ample venues and opportunities for those interested in seeing the remaining, and most likely the hottest, games of the World Cup. Bars, breweries, outdoor cafes and nightclubs have effectively become avenues for showing one’s true colors. The TbilsiInfo website provides the following line-up of fan clubs for avid Georgian football fans.
City Club, an art-club at 22 Metekhi St., tavern Hunter at 6 Sanapiro St. and G.U.R.U. club at 12 Rustaveli Ave. all house Brazil supporters, undoubtedly the largest such group in the country.
Marina Sanikidze, manager of tavern Hunter said that she has been a Brazil fan for years and has now turned her bar into a heaven for others. The tavern’s profits grew some 20 percent since the start of the World Cup, with tables being booked hours before the game, and Sanikidze hoped her team would hold out till the end.
The Germany fan club is now headquartered in Bavarian Brauhaus at 8 Sioni St., while supporters of the other European nation that made it into the quarterfinals, Holland, gather at Success club/bar on 3 Vashlovani St..
Nali, an Irish pub at 4/1 Kiacheli St., houses the Spain fan club for the World Cup. Argentina and Spain share Sport Café at 5 Maiakovski St. as a place of gathering and cheering for their supporters, while an additional Argentina fan club resides in CCCP, a café at 28 Kiacheli St.
With an ample choice of teams to support and venues to watch the games, Georgian fans watch on as the World Cup continues to upset and astonish with equal intensity.