Are you a true football fan or a Pakistani football fan?

Published: July 17, 2014
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If a Pakistani fan follows a team, and the team doesn’t do well in some match, then be prepared for emotional rants flooding your social media timelines. PHOTO: REUTERS

In Pakistan, summers usually have a few trademarks. These include myriad lawn brands, juicy mangoes, skin infections and a never-ending spree of load shedding. This year, however, a peculiar viral disease hit the urban areas of Pakistan in form of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Pakistan is not amongst the ‘big boys’ in football and the national team has never qualified for World Cup matches, yet the football fever still, somehow, hits Pakistan each time there is a football tournament taking place. The English Premier League has only recently attracted a substantial number of followers from Pakistan, but people have been following the World Cup for a long time now. The difference is that Pakistani fans follow football in their own, unique way.

So here is a list of 11 different types of Pakistani football fans you are sure to come across. Before you take out your pitch forks to get me, this list has been made purely for fun and is not meant to offend anyone.

True football fans

These are the purest football fans. They actually know the game and actually love it. They follow the game throughout the year, not just during tournaments, and have a special spot in their hearts for the teams they support.

Source: Lipstickalley

Whether they win or lose, these guys support their players through it all!

The Facebook supporter

Since the arrival and growth of social media, many new football fans have surfaced who show their support primarily via their status updates and tweets. These fans change their Facebook display pictures to either the logo of their favourite football team, or the flag of their favourite nation, or their favourite player’s picture.

Source: Vegaschatter.com

Even if they have zero knowledge of the dynamics of football, they will make sure to update their Facebook status or Twitter feed commenting on everything they can see or think of.

Baseball Selfie Goes Viral

Source: Inquisitr.com

The sentimentalist

We are an emotional nation and, as such, we tend to attach our feelings with everything; football is no exception to this. If a Pakistani fan follows a team, and the team doesn’t do well in some match, then be prepared for emotional rants flooding your social media timelines.

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You’ll come across abuses hurled at the players and see a barrage of comments about the opposition team. During this social media crusade, you will also come across the occasional declaration of how the referee was completely unfair when he sprung the yellow card on their favourite player; these guys don’t understand when and why the yellow card is used in the first place. They shall continue talking about the match even after days have gone by, sobbing and whining over why they ever liked their chosen team in the first place.

Source: Gifrific.com

The patriot

This is the football faction of the ‘ghairat brigade’. They do not believe in following football. Why? Because Pakistan is not playing. Their arguments are usually simple:

“I don’t like/follow a game that doesn’t have my national team in it”

Or

“Why should I waste time on it? Pakistan has a lot of other issues that need to be focused on, instead of watching 22 idiots running around a useless ball!”

Source: Imgur

However, this year, this type produced a sub-type which I like to call the Brazuca fan boys. These people do not know a single thing about the Brazuca or what makes it so special but they like it anyway and cannot stop admiring it because it was made in Pakistan.

You must have seen status updates like:

Yeh Messi ka nahi iss Pakistan ki bani football ka kamal hay. SubhanAllah kya shandaar gend hay

(It is not Messi’s talent – it’s that Pakistani football that’s doing wonders. My God, it’s such a wonderful ball!)

Source: Tumblr

The seasonal fan

They start following the World Cup just because their friends follow it. They pick up their favourite team depending on the team their friends like (or the players they like to watch).

Wait... What?

Source: Summerglauwiki.com

They hoot for what their friends are hooting for and they cheer for the player their friends cheer on. Basically, they just follow these matches to make sure that they are not left out during post-match discussions and get-togethers to watch a game at a friend’s place.

The struggler

These are the fans that only follow football during the World Cup or the Euro Cup. As a result, they have little idea of the developments that have taken place in a particular team. You will often hear them complaining about not seeing the players they saw four-years-ago; little do they know that those players probably retired right after the last tournament.

Source: Gifrific.com

They struggle in catching up with all the new updates they have missed out since the last time they watched a football match. Also, these fans have little idea about the different football clubs that play throughout the year.

The exhibitionist

They are loud, not because they know a lot about the game but because that’s just how they are. They try to show that they are true lovers of the game and follow it with full passion. They exhibit their passion by jumping around and shouting at their television screens whenever there is a foul. Also, they celebrate a goal as if they themselves have scored it. These are the ones who play football songs with loud volume during the football season and write ‘goal!’ as their Facebook statuses with an unnecessarily large number of ‘Os’.

Source: Senorgifs.com

The financial-humanitarian expert

These fans are incredibly critical of the salaries received by footballers. They spend time criticising the large budgets allotted by the team for their players and then they make a comparison of what the players get and what they end up delivering. According to them, they criticise because the same amount of money could have been used to serve humanity and social causes – all the while sitting in an air-conditioned room, sipping an expensive coffee and eating from some foreign fast food chain.

Source: Gifsoup.com

The jersey boy

Due to brand oriented shopping, many Pakistani football fans tend to buy football jerseys of their favourite players or merchandise of their favourite football team.

Source: Gifsoup.com

Wearing jerseys or owning merchandise of your favourite team does not necessarily mean you know about the game or the players in the team for that matter!

The know-it-all

I confess. I belong to this category. We are football trivia buffs – we read articles on football, listen to the experts on the game, follow analysis and even browse Wikipedia articles about the game, its history, the clubs, the players and the likes.

Source: Laapaix

With all this knowledge, we put Facebook statuses, spread tweets and pitch into the discussion to show how genius and clued-up we are – even if we haven’t watched the actual match under discussion.

The zenana fan

Gone are the days when only boys used to follow and love football; now, even girls follow the game and some of them actually know a lot about it. But there aren’t very many girls who actually know about the game. Most of the zenana (female) fans only talk about how good looking a particular player is and how “hot” the game is.

http://usatthebiglead.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/minnesota-gopher-chicks-take-selfies-during-the-wisconsin-game.gif

Source: The Sports Bank

Everyone has their own way of celebrating and following a particular event, and in sports, it is particularly fun to see how people take up different forms to enjoy this beautiful game.

Rai Muhammad Azlan Shahid

Rai Muhammad Azlan Shahid

The author is an MSc in Marketing from the University of the West of England. Currently he is based in Lahore and associated with the area of education marketing. He blogs at RaiAzlan.com and tweets @Mussanaf (twitter.com/Mussanaf)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sami

    I am a fan of International Football but i dont have any interest in Pakistani football. The reason is that Pakistani Football is the epitome of Non Professionalism. One Politician known as Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat is the president of Pakistan football federation. Secondly one Retired Colonel namely Colonel Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi is the secretary of PFF. The qualification to be a secretary of PFF is his Military Background. Similarly the friends of Faisal Saleh Hayat are running the entire PFF.

    Also we hear about many football making companies in Sialkot including forward sports but they will never sponsor any Pakistani player at all.

    There are more than a dozen Pakistani Origin Players in various football leagues in Europe but the Pakistani Coach have stated that he will not hire any Pakistani from Europe at all.

    So just see international football and be happy because even in the next 100 years with this pace we have no chance what-so-ever to qualify for the world cup.Recommend

  • Syed Bushra

    You forgot one.

    The Clueless Writers
    They’re condescending and pretend to know what they’re talking about but really who are they kidding?Recommend

  • Ajmir

    I was sick and tired of people, even those who didn’t watch a single game in the last four years, updating their FB statuses like they are the true lovers of the game. But having said that, another aspect of this is that it’s good for the game of football in Pakistan and I’m hoping one day it would take over number one spot in the country from the boring game of cricket.
    A true Barca and Spanish football lover!!Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Pakistanis to FIFA: The World Cup is over, now give our balls back! :DRecommend

  • Sarah

    What I think a true Pakistani football fan does is critique the ones who are new to the game like they are a bunch of wannabe illiterates.
    I never watched any game before Fifa ’14 nor did I know a thing about football (let alone any sport) but something about the first game I saw (Costa rica vs dutch) was inspirational – the crowds, the pressure, the glory, the competition and the sincerity the players put in the game to play for their country regardless of any lethal physical injury was awe inpsiring.
    Where exactly does a ‘code of law’ say that one has to watch footy 24/7 and be in sync with the club games and every game played in every nook and cranny of the world to be eligible to watch one or two games in the finale – the ones watched by millions.
    Also, your point regarding females and that they are just obsessed with how hot a certain footballer is just another example of how paki dudes find one way or another to belittle the intelligence of the other gender – without any know-how themselves.
    Finding someone hot is not a criminal offence. Everyone has one reason or the other to watch the games – if one does out of sincerity, he/she deserves respect. If one does to watch Ronaldo play because he is a pretty boy, then again he/she is not ay bimbo dumbass… variety is the spice of life.
    Recommend

  • Sarah

    How about lettin em do it and minding your own business?
    Or was it the number of more likes they got on their statuses botherin you just a wee bit more than it should?Recommend

  • Shield

    I only watch football when the world cup comes around. But I’m aware that players change and don’t much mind that. 4 years is a long time in a footballer’s career. I don’t think their professional careers exceed 10-15 years, right? So it’s not surprising that the faces have changed.

    As a south asian I’m more used to supporting national sporting teams. But with football it’s the clubs that matter. So that’s just weird to me.Recommend

  • Critical thinker…!!!

    Nice article was fun reading …GOOOOOAAAALLLL:…!!!!Recommend

  • Emad Zafar

    Football is for all, isn’t it?Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal

    Well writtenRecommend

  • HAS1323

    Some body got a little touchy with the ‘The zenana fan’Recommend

  • HAS1323

    Pakistanis can qualify for a world cup and eventually be successfully too, but they need to get over the boring Cricket and get with a real sport like football which by the way is harder to fix!Recommend

  • Hamza

    It actually gets rather annoying when your news feed is filled by status about football that don’t actually make sense and have nothing to do with the match going on.
    “OMG! Neymar is so cute! I support Brazil” is completely ridiculous and mind-boggling.

    And then you see people who are watching their first football match calling the Spanish goalkeeper “lousy” or “stupid” just because he had one bad game. The guy is a football legend and you don’t disrespect a legend when it isn’t even his fault and you haven’t really watched him in his peak years.
    The most maddening aspect is that people who for a good part of four years keep saying “I don’t care about football” or “Yaar stop talking about football. It’s such a stupid game” suddenly become football experts and analysts and think they can ridicule great football players and deem matches to be “fixed” (yes I actually heard someone calling the Final a fixed match)
    As far as the female fans are concerned, I think you should read that paragraph again. The author clearly admitted that girls also watch football nowadays and know a lot about it. The second part of the para is quite true as well though. Admit it.
    You won’t understand what I’m saying because you’re not a football fan. You don’t watch it with the same passion we doRecommend

  • Not a fan

    Really? You lost your balls?Recommend

  • نائلہ

    The balls were made in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Mahad Shahbaz

    was there an actual need to reply to that?Recommend

  • asad

    And what does people in media do specially in tribune.. they always try to prove that the way people are doing things is funny or not appropriate.. i would just suggest you guys to stop talking about people’s personal lifestyles.. its none of your business if they are not doing it wrong… do your work responsibly..Recommend