Monday, November 29, 1999

Long Shot, Striker Chicken enter menus as football fever grows

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Chandigarh, June 17 (PTI) With football fever growing with each passing day, the commercial establishments of the city are leaving no stone unturned to cash in on the craze generated by the ongoing World Cup in South Africa. Food outlets, night clubs and saloons of the city have all, in one or other way, related their activities to the game and the stars connected with it. Many hotels and restaurants here have erected large LCD screens to woo customers and are offering unique menu on heavy discounts. Government owned five-star hotel, ''Mountview'' has put on a huge football at its entrance to greet guests. And some special dishes -- Long Shot, Striker Chicken, Parallel Pass and Ronaldo''s Cooler -- have entered the menu cards, to be in tune with the sporting extravaganza. "We are planning a special menu and drinks on the days when knock-out stage would begin," a hotel manager said. For a cricket-crazy nation, it is the soccer which seems to have taken over, for the moment, with Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Kaka and Wayne Rooney being the hot stars. To attract fans, a city night club is offering discounted food coupons to the winners of a football quiz. "T-shirts of the top five teams of the World Cup would be given along with prizes to members," an official of the Chandigarh Club, said. Many saloons are offering hair styles of top soccer stars like Ronaldo and Kaka. "Youngsters are flocking our saloon asking for a hair style of their favourite soccer star. Some are also going in for a football like hair-cut with different shades," a hair-stylist working at a saloon in Sector 11 here said. And it''s not only the youngsters who have been bowled over by the game. The senior citizens are not far behind. "After the Cup began, many people of my age in our locality decided to form a team. Now, every morning we play a football match with youngsters in our area," the 62-year-old S L Prashar, a Sector 44 resident, said. The Cup, despite not having India as a competing team, has also given a boost to sales of football and other sportswear in the city. "We have registered a jump in our sales for the past one week. Young people and children are buying footballs, T-shirts and jerseys," owner of a leading sports store at Sector 7, said.

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