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They're going to Brazil!

May 12, 2014 - 1:24am

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TNP PHOTO: LATASHNI GOBI NATHAN

When Mr Balasubramaniam Sundaran, 33, got the call that he had won the chance to watch three matches at the biggest football tournament in the world, he thought it was a prank.

It was not. Mr Balasubramaniam was one of the two lucky winners of The New Paper Bonus Challenge Draw, winning tickets to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and also free accommodation.

The restaurant manager was at work when his phone rang. He said: “I couldn’t believe at first that I will be going to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I was so surprised.

“I can’t really describe the feeling. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Because Mr Balasubramaniam, who reads the TNP daily for sports and local news, is a Liverpool FC supporter, he will be rooting for England and his favourite player, Steven Gerrard, while in Brazil.

But he still expects the Spanish national team to win. He said: “Spain has many world-class players in the big leagues and they have won the past few tournaments.

So they’ll be very competitive.” He also has no issues with leaving his eleven-month-old son behind while he is in Brazil. He said: “There will be so many people looking after him. So I’m going to enjoy myself in Brazil, and come back with a bag as heavy as possible.”

The other winner, Mrs Mallika Senkuttuvan, 48, found it harder to say yes to the trip. The mother of three children, aged 17, 14 and 11, was worried that there would be no one to take care of them should she go.

The avid reader of TNP was also wary about going to Brazil alone. But she was finally persuaded to go by her children. She said: “They are really excited about it.”

Although Mrs Mallika played football when she was younger, she has been out of touch for quite a while. To prepare for her trip, she has been undergoing a football crash course so she would be better able to enjoy this golden chance.

She said: “I watch more football matches on TV now. My son also talks to me about famous football players and the teams they play for.”

She has decided to support the German national team. She said with a laugh: “That’s only because I know most of the players’ names. “I’m really looking forward to the opening ceremony now.”

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