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North Dakota soccer fan flying Bison Pride at World Cup

While many are already making plans to watch the World Cup on Saturday, Dec. 3, one of North Dakota's biggest soccer fans is in Qatar, and he brought a little green and gold with him to help cheer on the USA team.

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Reza Kamranian is at the World Cup, getting ready to watch USA and the Netherlands. The North Dakota State University grad brings a flag that says "Bison Pride" with him to any World Cup game.
Contributed / Reza Kamranian
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FARGO — When WDAY News talked with Bismarck resident Reza Kamranian on Friday, Dec. 2, he was spending his evening in Qatar, and he was already in fan mode.

Kamranian is at the World Cup, getting ready to watch USA and the Netherlands.

"We are here at the fan festival," Kamranian said, who's a longtime restaurant and bar owner in Fargo and Bismarck.

While Kamranian may not be the lone North Dakotan at the World Cup, he for sure is the best at marketing. The North Dakota State University grad brings a flag that says "Bison Pride" with him to any World Cup game.

"I took it to Russia with me (to the World Cup) and before they let me in the stadium, four different people had to inspect the flag," he said

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He gets some odd questions from security and the media.

One reporter came running up and asked him what he was protesting. "And I said, we are not protesting anything. I had to explain what Bison Pride was," Kamranian said.

Attending his fourth World Cup, the North Dakotan has also been to World Cups in South Africa, Brazil and Russia. He came to Fargo from Iran to attend NDSU as a young man. Soccer is what he grew up with.

"All you need is a ball and a pair of shoes, we didn't even have nets," he said. "We would set two rocks on one end, this is your goal, and two rocks on the other."

More from WDAY's Kevin Wallevand

Attending the World Cup matches has been a reminder of a sport that has captured the world. A sport with few limitations. Money or geography.

"If you have the passion for it and if you have the talent and will work at it, just about anyone can succeed in it," Kamranian said, adding he plans on returning back to North Dakota after Saturday's game.

The Bison flag will be folded up once back in the states, until Kamranian attends the next World Cup, which is set to be in North America.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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