Kozhikode District Collector N. Tej Lohit Reddy on Monday asked the Koduvally municipal authorities to examine a complaint filed by a lawyer that huge cutouts of celebrated football stars — Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., and Cristiano Ronaldo — at Kurugattu Kadavu at Pullavoor village obstructed the natural flow of the picturesque river.
A fortnight ago, football fans of Argentina had put up a 30-ft cutout of Messi over a little islet in the middle of the river, while Brazilian fans erected a 40-ft cutout of Neymar near the river edge. Later, fans set up a 45-ft cutout of Portuguese star Ronaldo overshadowing Messi and Neymar Jr. These cutouts earned global attention after FIFA.com shared a picture on its official Twitter account. The tweet yielded over 45,000 likes.
Official sources said the Collector had only forwarded the complaint to the civic authorities asking them to inform the lawyer if any action had been taken on the basis of his complaint. Meanwhile, the Koduvally municipal authorities said the cut-outs were not a threat to the river, and that they would not be removed until the FIFA World Cup, which begins in Qatar on November 20, is over next month.