June 11, 2014 6:48 pm

Winnipeggers ready for World Cup kick off

Mike Okrainec proudly flies the German flag on his car during World Cup.

Tamara Forlanski / Global News

WINNIPEG- The World Cup doesn’t kick off in Brazil until Thursday, but Winnipeggers are already flying their ethnic colours.

“One friend came up to me at work and whispered in a hushed tone ‘I hate to tell you this but someone tied some rags on your car’,” said Mike Okrainec, who has German flags on his car windows. “It’s all fun.”

Sports stores across the city have moved the hockey gear aside to make way for soccer merchandise.

“Whenever the tournament rolls around its so exciting,” said River City Sport’s Curt Lowen, who added the most popular country according to his sales is Portugal.

A perk of the pitches in Rio is the time zone is only two hours ahead.

“It’s going to be great for any person watching live,” said Lisa Mackling, the executive director at the Caboto Centre.

The Italian community centre on Wilkes Avenue is showing every one of the more than 60 matches live.

“We welcome everyone and we want them to wear their own jersey,” said Mackling, who expects around 10,000 people to stop by the centre to take in the matches over the next month.

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