Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

On the opening day of the football World Cup 2022 in Qatar, over 3,000 km away in Kerala, celebrations by a section of fans of Argentina and Brazil in Kollam district turned violent. It is found in the visuals of the incident that supporters of the respective teams are trading blows.

The video clips of the incident, in the Sakthikulangara area of the district, have gone viral on various social media platforms. The development prompted the police to lodge a case under Section 160 (punishment for committing affray) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

As per police sources, the incident occurred on November 20, when the marquee sporting event kicked off in Qatar. Fans of various teams were celebrating. The competitive cheering for their favourite teams among the fans led to heated arguments and finally resulted in a brawl between them.

It is found in the clips that a large number of fans of Brazil and Argentina kicked and punched each other and used sticks to beat up one another, while some others were unsuccessfully trying to break them apart. The visuals also showed fans wearing Portugal jerseys and one even carrying a flag of the England soccer team, joining the party of blows.

Sakthikulangara police on its own lodged the FIR after seeing the visuals and they were trying to identify those involved in the incident from the videos.

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