Doha: Two Keralite children were among those who descended to the ground with the stars before the start of the quarter-final match in the World Cup between England and France.
The children, Jozef and Aimee, of couple Zachariah Joseph and Eleyah of Padinjarekara family in Kottayam paraded with the players for the national anthem on the ground before the kick-off.
The 11-year-old Jozef was with France superstar Kylian Mbappe. The nine-year-old Aimee was with English star Jordan Henderson. Both are students of the Gems Wellington School in Doha. The family has been living in Qatar for the past nine years.
Their father, Zachariah Joseph, is the venue operations manager with the Supreme Committee For Delivery and Legacy, the organisers of the World Cup.
Zachariah Joseph is in charge of the Al Bayt Stadium. He is also the first Indian to complete FIFA’s sports management course.
Jozef is happy to walk along with his favorite player Mbappe on the World Cup stage. The sixth-grade student of Gems, Jozef is a member of the school’s football team and has been training Go Karting.
Aimee is in the fourth grade and is a member of the school’s girls’ football team. But she is more interested in rhythmic gymnastics.
There is one more love that brings the whole family together. They are die-hard fans of the English football club Leeds United.
This adoration for the EPL club started with Joseph Cherian. He got hooked onto the Peacocks when he went to the UK in the 70s. He passed on the love for the club to his children and now to his grandchildren.
Joseph Cherian and his wife Meena are currently in Doha to watch the World Cup.