The biggest sporting event in the world, FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, will have fans coming to Russia from all over the world. Football has all kinds of fans in every part of the world and these fans have a great passion for the game. In India where cricket is a religion and cricketers are treated as gods, football still has a strong presence especially in Kolkata with many passionate fans. But among those fans, Pannalal and Chaitali Chatterjee are the names even FIFA recognises.
This is because the Kolkata based football fan couple Pannalal (age 85) and Chaitali (age 76) Chatterjee, will be attending their 10th world cup together when they reach Russia. The occasion is even more special because they will also be making a Guinness Book world record for attending 10 world cups in a row. They have been contacted by Guinness Book Authority and may be honoured in Russia itself. The couple will be attending the world cup matches in the coming days along with few other friends with Dook International, A Unit of Dook Travels Pvt. Ltd.
Pannalal and Chaitali Chatterjee will be going in for 8 nights/9 day’s tour to watch games played between Argentina Vs Iceland, Germany Vs Mexico, Portugal Vs Morocco and Brazil Vs Costa Rica. The couple along with 5 more members will be a part of the touring group that will see live matches from the stands. The Chatterjees are still waiting for a response to their request they made to the Russian Consulate and the FIFA Organising Committee requesting them for additional match tickets for the knock-out rounds.
Pannalal Chatterjee is a former football player while his wife Chaitali is an avid football fan. The couple have been going to every football world cup since Spain World Cup in 1982 when a family friend got them the tickets. Having a passion for the game is one thing but touring different countries on the eve of world cup every four year is a very costly affair. The couple have made many sacrifices in order to keep their football passion alive and going.
The Chatterjees have many memories from their journey including watching the ‘Hand of God’ from Diego Maradona and a photograph while posing with Pele. The couple also feels that this might be their last World Cup tour and they might not be able to make it to Qatar 2022.