PARIS—Supporters flocked to Paris’ frozen Champs-Elysees on Wednesday after the World Cup semi-final between France and Morocco sent millions of people’s hearts racing, as “Les Bleus” won 2- 0 to reach the final for the second time in a row.
“We just wanted to celebrate our win and we could really feel it going crazy,” said student Kerene Massuka, who was traveling with a friend.
“I am both sad and proud,” said Thomas Bregas, a young Frenchman of Moroccan descent who wears a Moroccan flag.
Fans were surrounded by hundreds of police trucks guarding the area as they set off fireworks and flares to sirens and cheers.
Crowds of supporters entered the Christmas-decorated boulevard after the final whistle, where authorities were preparing for tens of thousands of people despite temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius.
France is home to a large Moroccan community, many of whom hold dual citizenship. High stakes for both sides.
Morocco had a chance to become the first African country to reach the World Cup final, but France is now ready to be the first team to retain the World Cup title for 60 years on Sunday.
Speaking from Qatar, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “I want the French people now to enjoy this simple form of happiness.”
He added that Moroccans have nothing to be ashamed of after a World Cup journey “extraordinary”.
Karine, 28, who watched the match with friends in a gym in Compiegne, northern France, said: “Sunday was just a formality, the trophy was in France.
In Paris, Police are bracing for possible skirmishes, following scuffles following Morocco’s quarter-final win over Portugal last week.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said about 10,000 police officers would be mobilized nationwide, of which 5,000 would be located in the Ile-de-France region around Paris and about 2,200 in the capital, double that number of security personnel compared to previous important World Cup matches. on French TV 2.
Deeply bound by colonial ties and the influx of post-war migrant workers from North Africa to France, the two nations share a history that has shaped their identities and politics, and forged a Relationships are sometimes bitter.
Moroccan fans in France have been celebrating wildly since their team embarked on a historic journey at the World Cup, becoming the first African and Arab team to reach the final four of the world event. global introduction.
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