Illini Union Courtyard Cafe hosting World Cup screening parties


Viewers at the Courtyard Cafe watch as Mexico plays Cameroon during the World Cup. The Cafe screens each game in the cafe for the duration of the tournament. 

By Abrar Al-Heeti

Many World Cup enthusiasts gathered on Friday morning at the Illini Union Courtyard Cafe to share in the excitement of the games as they watched Mexico play Cameroon.

The World Cup, an international soccer competition, started on Thursday and will end on July 13, and up until then, the Union will be screening each game via projector in the courtyard for students and community members.

Angelina Jaimes is a summer intern who watched both the Brazil versus Croatia game as well as the Mexico versus Cameroon game at the Courtyard Cafe.

“I come here to watch the games because of the environment — the students here cheering for their team,” Jaimes said.

Kensuke Naito is a first year doctorate student who was attending his orientation. He decided to stop by the Courtyard Cafe to watch Friday morning’s game.

“I want Mexico to win this game,” he said. “And I think Brazil or Germany will win the whole thing.”

Almost every seat in the cafe was occupied with viewers, and at Friday morning’s game, viewers in the courtyard largely rooted for Mexico. People cheered, groaned and watched anxiously together as the game unfolded.

In the Courtyard Cafe, flags representing the playing teams will line the perimeter of the room for the duration of the World Cup.

“There’s no team in particular I want to win this game,” said Michael Obiero Oyengo, graduate student. “I would like if an African team wins, or Germany.”

Oyengo said he watched the first game from home, but “I was studying on campus, so I decided to come.”

Attendees said they were likely to come back to the Union to watch more games throughout the tournament.

Abrar can be reached at [email protected]