Our team was on location in Pullavoor to see giant cutouts of Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar and Argentinian star Lionel Messi which appeared in late October in the run up to Qatar 2022.
On November 10, giant cutouts of international football stars could be seen beside a river in Kerala. Found on the banks of the Kozhikode, these larger than life images of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar & Lionel Messi were installed by Pullavoor locals in the run up to Qatar 2022.
The cutouts were first documented by local fans on October 31, with local Messi fans claiming that he was the first to be installed. The display received widespread attention after appearing on the official FIFA twitter account on November 8.
This South Indian display of World Cup fever comes in the run up to a tournament marred by controversy and boycotts with many football fans and activists taking issue with the host nation’s stance on LGBT+ rights and reports of human rights abuses and exploitation of the migrant workers involved in building the infrastructure required for Qatar to host a sporting event of this magnitude.
The video below shows how we validated the material we received from Pullavoor in which bystanders can be seen gathering to witness the spectacle as local kids enjoyed a kick around under the shadow of their football heroes.