Fifa World Cup: Meet the French fans who flew 14 hours in a day just to see quarter-final

'We are very relieved now that we won a very difficult game against England,' Alex says; they will cheer their team on from Paris when they play Morocco next

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

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French fans Christophe, Sacha and Alex after France’s win over England. Photo by Rituraj
French fans Christophe, Sacha and Alex after France’s win over England. Photo by Rituraj

Published: Sun 11 Dec 2022, 6:39 PM

Alex heaved a huge sigh of relief at Al Bayt Stadium after France overcame England 2-1 in a hard-fought battle to keep the dream of defending the World Cup title alive.

Alex, his friends, Sacha and Christophe, had landed in Doha only on Saturday afternoon for their team’s night match against England.


“Now we are going to the Doha airport from this stadium as we have to take the return flight to Paris. It’s been a long day-and-a-half for us,” Alex told this reporter.

These three French fans were prepared for 14 hours of flight time in a day just to see the Les Bleus live in a World Cup quarterfinal.


“We had tickets for just one match. So we are very relieved now that we won a very difficult game against England,” Alex said.

“I think we were lucky in this match, but we also have a lot of experience. It was a very complicated game. England is a very difficult opponent, so I am very happy now.”

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Alex will now be cheering his team on from Paris when they play Morocco in the semifinal at the same stadium on Wednesday.

“I think Morocco will be a very complicated game, but I believe in this French team. They have the quality to pass this test,” he said.

“At the same time, we also have to be careful. Yes, we have the better team, but Spain and Portugal also had the better teams against Morocco and we all know what happened. So we have to be very careful.”

But Alex finds similarities between this world champion French team and the legendary 1998 team that won their first World Cup on home soil.

“I was seven years old. I was watching the matches on TV with my parents. Everybody was celebrating the French team and (Zinedine) Zidane,” he recalled.

“It was my first memory of football. That was a great team, they also won the Euro two years later.”

“I think this team have the same quality like that team, with a lot of experienced and skillful players. That’s why I am confident that we can go on and win the title here in Qatar.”


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