The frenzy of the eve of the match

Amol Gokhale
Thursday, 14 June 2018

The aura of the stadium just keeps growing on you with each passing minute

When you read this postcard, the World will already be engulfed in the football frenzy after the opener between Russia and Saudi Arabia...

But, when I write this, it’s still eve of the World Cup, and hence just like any other event, the T-1, is always the busiest day, and hence a little sneak peek into what goes behind the scene.

As I completed the security check to enter the Luzhniki Stadium premises, the preparations were in full swing to give this iconic stadium one last beauty touch. In the media centre, it was the same story.

The constant ambient noise of keyboard is like the sound of crickets, constant in your ears. That sound is replaced by the shutter clicks if you enter the press conference room for a presser. Photographers are allowed to stay for the first five minutes of the conference and for those five minutes, you have to listen very carefully through 'never fitting perfectly' earpiece which translates things in real time as shutter clicks make their presence felt.

On Wednesday, the media personnel got the first look of the lush green outfield of this old stadium on the banks of the Moskva river for 15 minutes when the hosts Russia trained at noon.

The aura of the stadium just keeps growing on you with each passing minute and once the media is asked to leave the media tribune, situated on the 6th floor of the stadium, it's a long way back to the media centre.

You need to remember your way, or else you might end up taking another elevator, like I did, and I had to find my way back to the media centre through the maze that Stadium has to offer.

As I walked back towards the Metro station at the end of the long day, the sound of music was reverberating through the stadium, the final rehearsal of the opening ceremony was underway, the Sun was shining bright and Lenin basked in it, a constant at the site.

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