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PHOTOS: Football World Cup fan festival

June 12, 2014 10:54 IST

PHOTOS: Football World Cup fan festival

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The football extravaganza has not even begun but the crazy fans are already making heads turn.

-Football World Cup

- Football World Cup schedule

Such is the aura of these fans that even the star players admit their importance.

Soccer fans eager to stay in the loop and follow their favorite teams and players during World Cup in Brazil can keep up with the action on their smartphones using apps created for the tournament.

Thirty-two national teams will compete in the World Cup, organized by the world soccer body FIFA, in 12 host cities during the competition that begins on Thursday and runs to July 13.

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Image: A fan wears a bird costume with the name of Cristiano Ronaldo on the chest poses with Andressa Urach, a Brazilian model and actress who painted her upper body with Portugal's national soccer jersey
Photographs: Reuters

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“Brazil is known for being the land of football, and now we host the biggest sporting event on the planet. The benefits are already being felt,” said a spokesman for the Special Secretariat of the World Cup (Secopa), which is coordinating the competition in the state of Ceara in northeastern Brazil.

The new apps join a cornucopia of ways to follow the cup, including television and the Internet.

One Football Brasil, a company based in Berlin, has developed a new app for the 2014 World Cup for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone that provides scores and game news about fans' favorite teams and players.

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Image: A Brazilian fan gives a thumbs up on Copacabana Beach as the 2014 FIFA World Cup nears
Photographs: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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“Soccer fans have a strong attachment to their teams and countries, and want to be there to cheer for them and feel like they’ve actually had a part in making their team win,” said Jonathan Lavigne, the company's chief technology officer.

Users can pick a team, and the app creates a personalized feed of news, statistics and scores, along with push notifications for real-time updates.

The free app, which is available worldwide in 15 languages, also includes real-time, minute-by-minute commentary on games, match schedules, data on each player, and news and commentary on games and teams.

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Image: Fans laugh as they stand among large puppets in the likeness of soccer players
Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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“Recently, our key player got injured and won’t play in the World Cup, for example. This is addictive and emotional information that I need to know as a fan right when it happens,” Lavigne explained.

FIFA also has a free, official app, called FIFA, for iOS and Android. It provides scores, game schedules, headlines, photos and videos.

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Image: An England fan holds a replica world cup trophy at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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A total of 204 teams across six continents competed for a spot at the 2014 World Cup. Brazil has won the competition, which is held every four years, five times.


Image: Indian soccer fans pose after getting fancy hairdos
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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