Some fans at the World Cup this summer have gone to pretty extraordinary lengths to watch their teams in Russia – although one Peru fan might just take the biscuit.
The fan from South America was apparently so concerned that he would miss out on a ticket due to the huge demand in his homeland, that he gained an extra 24kg (52lbs) to apply for the special seats provided by FIFA for larger fans.
“There was a guy who was worried he wouldn’t get a ticket for a Peru match, so he said he would try to put on 24kg so that he could apply for one of the special [easy-access extra-width] seats that are much easier to get,” said Peru fan Guillermo Espinoza, according to the Sun.
“You get a good view as well from those seats,” he added.
Peruvian fans have been a particularly prominent presence in Russia this summer, with thousands of them flocking to watch their team at its first World Cup in 36 years.
They were out in force last week before the tournament had even started, filling central Moscow and unveiling a giant Peruvian shirt which fans could write messages of support on.
Peru officially sold just over 43,000 World Cup tickets to fans, but some estimates put their number in Russia at closer to 80,000.
Yesterday the red-and-white-clad crowds took over the city of Saransk – the smallest World Cup destination – marching en masse to the stadium ahead of the team’s first group stage game against Denmark.
They suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat in that game, after midfielder Christian Cueva missed a first-half penalty which could have given the Peruvians the lead.
The defeat is unlikely to dampen the spirit of the Peruvian fans, who will take their World Cup party on to the next game against France in Ekaterinburg.