This Tuesday, September 22, the French football team successfully entered the World Cup by beating Australia (4-1). Pauline Cheyssial, a Nîmes supporter of the Blues, was in the stands of the Al-Janoub stadium in Doha. She tells us.
She had never attended a match of the French football team before. “My boyfriend and his brother have a cousin who lives in Dubai, we thought it was an opportunity to attend the World Cup”, says Pauline Cheyssial.
While the first places were awarded by lot, the three Nîmes first tried to obtain tickets for France – Australia and France – Denmark. “It didn’t work, but we were able to buy tickets for the first match of the Blues sold individually in a second time. We paid 140 euros each and we didn’t know where we were going to be placed.”
After a one-hour flight from Dubai, Pauline, Frédéric and Rémy land in Doha on the morning of the match. “We were well received, we felt that the Qataris were happy to receive foreigners, believes Pauline. We visited the souk, there were flags from all countries, it was nice.”
“The match was at 10 p.m. and we arrived at the stadium around 6:30 p.m., she continues. We could see the end of the previous match on a giant screen, there was a bit of an atmosphere even if I think we was far from the level of some other World Cups.”
To sit in the air-conditioned stands of the Al-Janoub stadium, Pauline has planned her jacket. “I was not cold, I think the air conditioning was lowered after the controversy of the first matches, she says. But frankly, at 10 p.m., it was completely useless.”
“A plane returned empty”
On the atmosphere side, the Gardoise describes some good-natured rooms with Australian supporters. “We were on the side and it was really calm, nothing to do with the Costières or the Vélodrome, she describes. Behind the goals, there were the kops of the two countries and it was moving a little more. The French did the most noise. On our side, we were tense after the Australian opener and we shouted well on the goals of the Blues.
The day after the match, Pauline, Frédéric and Rémy return to Dubai. And a funny surprise awaits them on takeoff: “There were only five of us on the plane. It shocked us. The flight crew outnumbered the passengers! They were very caring, we even got champagne.”
And according to the Gardoise, their case is not isolated. “As many spectators come from Dubai, many air connections are planned between the two cities, explains Pauline. We were told that there were ten flights a day during the World Cup, she says. The day before , apparently a plane had returned to Dubai empty.”
If some Blues supporters met on site have planned to stay at least until the round of 16, our three Nîmes will return home this weekend. “The next matches, we will see them at the bar”, concludes Pauline.