ILOILO CITY, Philippines—A town in Iloilo province is living up to its reputation as the country’s football capital as it prepares for what could be its biggest party for World Cup 2014—the No. 1 international sporting event in terms of audience size.
Barotac Nuevo, where football is more popular than basketball in a country not known for tall people, has put up a giant screen so residents and football enthusiasts can watch the World Cup’s opening ceremony in Brazil.
Duffie Botavara, secretary general of the Iloilo Football Association and former head of Barotac Nuevo Football Club, said a huge number of residents were expected to gather at the town plaza to watch the opening ceremony.
While most Filipinos will be watching Game 4 of the National Basketball Association on Friday, residents of Barotac Nuevo are expected to tune in to the World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia.
In the town of 52,000 people, football has become a passion. The town has also become the source of some of the country’s best football players.
The now popular Philippine football team Azkals has many members coming from Barotac Nuevo.
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