Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Two special fans from abroad are adding value, entertainment and glamour to the West stand at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar with their joviality, entertaining and fun-loving nature during the ongoing FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023.

Meet Camille from France and Johana from Germany who are dancing animatedly to every tune and music played at the stadium during the marquee event.

Though both of them, who happen to be local hockey players in a France hockey club, are supporting their respective national teams in the marquee event, they have a special place for South African team in their hearts due to a special reason.

Both Camille and Johana play for Paris Jean Bouin (PJB) hockey club in France and some of the male players of their club are playing for South Africa. That is the special reason why both the hockey crazy fans have travelled 8,000 km from France to Odisha to cheer South Africa.

“Our minds tickle for our national teams France and Germany and to some extent defending champions Belgium. But our hearts beat for South Africa as our club players are playing for the team,” both Camille and Johana said in unison.

Both of them are surprised to see the high intensity hockey craze in Odisha.

“We had not thought in our wildest of dreams about such craze and cheer to hockey in Bhubaneswar. The infrastructure and facilities are world class here. Moreover, the ambience is electric. We are sending videos and photographs back home to create awareness and love about hockey,” said Camille.

Meanwhile, Johana feels hosts India will be one of the favourites to win the coveted title.

“As hosts India are definitely title favourites. A boisterous crowd will play as the 12th man for them at the stadium. They are a talented side and we just can’t wait to witness the Men in Blue getting into action mode at this beautiful stadium with a jam-packed crowd cheering for them,” said Johana.