World Cup fever grips Trinidad and Tobago

The tiny island of Trinidad and Tobago is only the fourth Caribbean country to have ever qualified for the football World Cup.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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The tiny island of Trinidad and Tobago is only the fourth Caribbean country to have ever qualified for the football World Cup. The national team, known as the soca warriors, are 1000/1 favourites to lift the trophy. But despite those heavy odds, their country is already celebrating the soca warrior's achievement. The World Cup may still be a few days away, but in Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago, the party has already started. The craze Playboyz' steel band - one of the hundreds in the city - are hard at practise, making sure they hit the right notes in anticipation for their country's opening World Cup game on June 10 against Sweden in Dortmund. "The song - Soca Warriors - originated when Trinidad qualified for the World Cup. A young and aspiring singer called Maximus Dan, who is an avid football supporter, decided that he was going to represent Trinidad and Tobago by singing Soca Warriors," said Kenry Valentine, leader, Playboyz' steel band. "It is a song that has become very popular with most of the bands in and around Trinidad and Tobago," added Kenry. Football everywhere It is a common sight to see small shops selling Soca Warriors merchandise. From T-shirts to jerseys to flags, everything is available at a price ofcourse. So what if there is a cricket series on, its Dwight Yorke and Stern John attracting more attention than Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo. "I usually sell my stuff in Port of Spain, but I moved my business uptown and it is now good. The response is very positive. People are buying. Anything red, white and black is selling," said Jimmy Diamond, roadside shop owner. At the Queens Park Savannah, a short walk away from the Queens Park oval cricket ground, football is being played as far as the eye can see. And while Trinidad's most famous citizen may be a certain Brian Lara, every Trinidadian has his own strategy in mind for the World Cup. "We will do very well at the World Cup because we have nothing too lose, we have to go there and beat people especially England," said a fan. Not many people are expecting Trinidad and Tobago to travel to Germany next month and lift the World Cup. Qualification for the tournament in itself is a tremendous achievement for this tiny island nation of just three million people. Anything more now that they can achieve against the likes of England, Sweden and Paraguay will only be an added bonus.