we followed the match at the Ouistreham ferry dock

A few hours before the last ferry to Portsmouth, the French and the English met in the bars of Ouistreham to support their respective choices.

Last call before boarding! Everyone is asked to show up with a valid ticket and swallow the tears. Bittersweet end to the evening for the 200 passengers on the Saint-Michel, the last ferry to Portsmouth from Ouistreham, on Saturday 10th December.

By chance of the calendar, the ferry’s return coincided with the quarter-finals of the England and France World Cup qualifiers. To follow the – unfortunate – epic of The Three Lions, each passenger had their own technique.

If some British passengers had to make do with a mobile phone screen, stuck in the queue of cars heading towards the pier, others took the opportunity to join the bars of Ouistreham. To a few meters from the pier, change of flag for the restaurant Lighthouse, “two-thirds full of Britons”, according to the manager.

“We’re going back to England for Christmas, bad timing!”

Linda Llewellyn, England supporter

“I love both teams but if England lose I’ll be crying at the ferry window no doubt.” Linda Llewellyn said with a smile, sitting in front of the television screen. Her husband, for his part, had a very clear opinion: “No risk! Your food is much better than your football“It is therefore up to everyone to imagine the deliciousness of the dishes served.




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Some English tourists were on their way to Ouistreham.



©France 3 Normandy

In the minority, the English did not prevent themselves from making their voices heard, in a very good-natured atmosphere. The Franco-British rivalry, ubiquitous in rugby but almost non-existent in football, was embodied around the city’s bars and restaurants. In the middle of the tricolor flags, we found Lindsey and Paul, a British couple, leaning against the counter: “When everyone says “ouiiii”, we say “no”, we go against the flow”the couple had fun.

But with a ferry departure scheduled for 10 p.m., it was better not to play extra time. Returned to 1-1 after Harry Kane’s free-kick equalizer (54th), the English dominated by and large a battered French team. The main goal from Olivier Giroud (74th) gave the Blues some air, but did not dampen the British hopes. “If we go to extra time and penalties, we will have to finish the game on the boat! “, was impatient Paul.

But no miracle for the British. The last missed penalty, the defeat turned out to be more bitter than the hop (2-1). To barely time to wipe away a few tears, amid the cheers of the French supporters, that they were already going back to the ship. A quick return home, in the absence of bringing back the cup. The Blues, who emerged victorious from this tough duel, will meet Morocco on Tuesday 14 December in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

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