Lara~~s heart lies in soccer, Greg a Brazil fan

Published: Saturday, June 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St. Lucia:Not immune to the soccer fever, Team India coach Greg Chappell, otherwise a home team supporter, revealed he is a Brazil fan while West Indies captain Brian Lara admitted his heart lies with the Trinidad and Tobago team making their maiden World Cup appearance, in Germany.

On the eve of the second Test match which gets underway here later today, Chappell said, ''I don't follow football that closely but I have interest in what Australia does in World Cup. We have been in this region for some time and so there is interest in Trinidad and Tobago too and I would be interested to watch their progress.

''But if you ask one, I am a Brazil fan. I suppose that all of us are when we don't know much about football,'' said Chappell.

A thorough professional, Chappell, however, is not ready to allow the soccer fever distract Team India from its mission here and said the players could only watch replays of the World Cup matches.

''I would hope that they are watching cricket and are focused on cricket rather than the football matches. They can watch replays but there won't be any football match in our dressing room tomorrow,'' he said.

Lara, however, is overwhelmed with his homeland making to the World Cup finals. In fact, the West Indies team finished their practice early yesterday to catch the Germany Vs Costa Rica match live at their dressing room. The real big match for the Caribbean is today when Trinidad and Tobago take on Sweden at 12 noon local time here.

''My eyes would be focused on the cricket match, but my heart would be with the Trinidad and Tobago football team. This is second representation from Caribbean after Jamaica and it is indeed a big moment for all of us,'' said Lara.

The pitch here at St Lucia stadium looks a big tricky and toss might play an important role. But Lara is even ready to lose the toss if it guaranteed a win for the Soca Warriors in the World Cup.

''If it's between toss and their match, definitely I will hope that the soccer team win the match than we win toss. Winning toss in this match is not as big as victory in a World Cup match,'' said Lara.

''We would be on ground ourselves when football starts but at lunch I am sure team would be asking who won the match or what the scoreline is. The game starts at 12 o' clock and in the lunch time, there would not be much cricket discussion,'' said Lara.

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