Jubilation on Champs-Elysees after France reach World Cup final

AFP

3 min read
Soccer fans, next to the Arc de Triomphe, celebrate after France's victory over Morocco in the Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-final, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on December 14, 2022.
Thibaud MORITZ / AFPSoccer fans, next to the Arc de Triomphe, celebrate after France's victory over Morocco in the Qatar 2022 World Cup semi-final, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on December 14, 2022.

The Les Bleus victory over Morocco 2-0 in Qatar sets off celebrations across France, and sets up World Cup final against Argentina

Waving tricolor flags and setting off flares, French supporters erupted in jubilation around the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue after France's triumph over Morocco on Wednesday, which has put Les Bleus into the World Cup final. 

The celebrations were mostly peaceful around Paris, but there were some signs of unrest in other parts of the country, including a fatal post-match hit-and-run incident in the southern city of Montpellier.

Video poster

About 10,000 police were mobilized across France, as authorities fretted over potential clashes between French supporters and those backing its one-time North African colony. 

As soccer lovers in Paris thronged to the end of the avenue leading to the Arc de Triomphe, the mood was impassioned but largely good-natured, with Moroccan supporters accepting defeat. 

"We are in the final. We are in the final," hundreds of French supporters chanted as drivers sounded horns and anti-riot police lurked in vans lining the area.

A French anti-riot police van even used one of its sirens to mark the moment when Kolo Muani scored the goal to give France a 2-0 lead.

"What pleasure it will be to play Argentina in the final," said Sylvain Badin, 24, clutching a French flag. "I came to share a moment of joy."

Dozens of Moroccan fans also made themselves heard during the match in the area, swathing themselves in national flags as they followed the match on their phones.

"We lost but it's only football and we made history by making the semi-finals. We are proud of our country and happy for France," said Kamal Seddiki, a 22-year-old Moroccan student.

Some fans setting off fireworks around the Arc de Triomphe were dispersed by police.

And a group of about 40 people aligned with far-right groups were arrested for carrying prohibited weapons before they could get to the Champs-Elysees, a police source said.

"They clearly wanted to fight on the Champs," the source said.

In total more than 100 arrests took place around the Paris area before 1:00 am on Thursday, the police said.

This article received 0 comments