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WORLD CUP 2014

EXPATS

Ten bars in Paris to watch the World Cup

There might be no fan park in Paris to watch the action at this year's World Cup but the French capital is clearly not short of great venues to catch the football. If you are fan of England, Australia, the United States or even France, here's ten great options for you.

Ten bars in Paris to watch the World Cup
There's no need to watch the World Cup from the street. Check out these ten venues in Paris. Photo: Malias/Flickr

The traditional fan park may have been ditched but Paris is not short of bars, pubs and cafes to watch the football this summer. Some however are better, or let's say more atmospheric, than others. So if you are a fan of England, the United States, Australia or even your adopted nation France, then here’s a list of great places to catch the action.

1.       Kia Cabana

If you are fans of the outdoor giant screen then this could be the closest thing you’ll get. Carmakers Kia are offering Parisians the chance to watch the matches on a barge on the river Seine, close to the Eiffel Tower at the Port de Champs-Élysées. The barge will feature three spaces: “The stadium” – where the matches will be shown, “The village” – which will feature an exhibition around Brazilian fashion and “The beach” – which will give revellers a feel of Copacabana. It's probably worth checking out. 

2.       The Bombardier

This pub, on the Place du Panthéon, has long been a favourite among England fans whenever a tournament comes around. There’s usually an electric atmosphere here for the big matches, but be prepared to stand and queue a while for a drink while you watch England toil and then go out on penalties. For more info CLICK HERE.

3.       The Coq and Bulldog

If you want an alternative venue to watch the Three Lions, or indeed any team, then head up to Coq and Bulldog on Rue de Clichy. You’ll have more chance of finding a seat here and won’t need to stand at the bar for ages to get a drink. The two big screens will have all the action covered and it won't be short on atmosphere either. CLICK HERE for more info.

4.       Belushi’s

If you are more into the Stars and Stripes than the Three Lions then the two Belushi’s sports bars could be a good option for you. There’s one at Gare du Nord and another up the road by the Canal de l’Ourq. You can also reserve areas of the bars for groups of people and enjoy some traditional American grub and grog. Visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

5.       Play-off

Play-Off at Avenue de Wagram and Rue Saint-Georges has long been a favourite among sports fans. It markets itself on a cross between an English pub, a steakhouse and an American sports bar, so would be good for fans of either team and is also popular among supporters of Les Bleus. “The objective is to respond to vital needs: Beer, meat, fries and football,” says the bar’s website. Can’t argue with that. For more info CLICK HERE.

6.       The Great Canadian

With Canada not having qualified for the World Cup, The Great Canadian by the river at St Michel will no doubt be overrun by fans of the US team. It will be busy but no one should worry about missing out on any of the action because when it comes to the number of screens it’s hard to look beyond The Great Canadian

7.       Café Oz (any one of them)

Aussies like to stick together when it comes to sporting events, so for anyone hoping to see the Socceroos in action, it’s probably best not to look any further than one of the capital's Café Oz bars. These giant pubs are dotted around the city at Denfert-Rochereay, Grands Boulevards, Châtelet and Blanche and will provide a fitting venue for Australia’s three matches at the World Cup (no offence Socceroo fans, we just can’t see you getting out of the group). For more info CLICK HERE.

8.       Le Players

With around 30 screens Le Players, on Rue Montmartre is probably one of the biggest venues to watch the football. It’s known for its party atmosphere and will probably be full of fans from all nationalities throughout the month-long football extravaganza. Le Players is even offering a special three-course menu during the finals featuring a “Copacabana” burger and a Caipirinha cocktail. Visit the bar's website by CLICKING HERE.

9.       Le Café Rive Droite

Right in the heart of Paris in the Châtelet area, the Café Rive Droite offers eight big TV screens for you to watch the matches. You can also ring ahead to reserve a table to watch the games. It's a good option if you are in the town centre and want some traditional French cuisine while you watch the action. CLICK HERE for more info.

10.   Le Magellan

Finally if you are not a fan of big rowdy crowds but still want to watch the football out, rather than at home, then why not try Le Magellan, hidden away in the 11th arrondissement on Rue des Goncourt. Time Out magazine included Le Magellan in their top ten bars in Paris to watch a football match and noted the fact that you don’t have to shout to order a beer or even stand in a queue. If you want a cosy venue, this could be for you. For more info CLICK HERE

If you have any other suggestions of your own for where to catch the World Cup or opinions to offer about the above choices, then share them with fellow readers in the comments section below.

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FOOTBALL

France plans to keep growing women’s game after World Cup disappointment

France faces the challenge of continuing to develop women's football after the bitter disappointment of elimination from the World Cup by the United States.

France plans to keep growing women's game after World Cup disappointment
France players after the defeat against USA. Photo: AFP

“Back to Earth” was how sports daily L'Equipe put it after the host nation lost 2-1 to the holders in a quarter-final played out before a feverish crowd in Paris.

L'Equipe talked of “the disappointment of a shattered adventure” because coach Corinne Diacre's team had dreamt of emulating the men, World Cup winners in Russia last year and also winners as hosts in 1998.

The team had been desperate to make it to Lyon, where the semi-finals and final will be played and where seven of those who featured for France on Friday play their club football for Europe's top side.

Instead, France find themselves out of a fifth straight major tournament in the quarter-finals. To rub salt into the wounds, Friday's defeat had the knock-on effect of denying them a place at next year's Olympics.

Diacre had been set the objective of reaching the final, which always looked a daunting challenge once the draw raised the likelihood of an early meeting with the USA.

Amid the dejection on Friday, Diacre stated her wish to continue, and on Saturday French Football Federation (FFF) President Noel Le Graet confirmed she would stay.

“She will be in charge until the end of her contract, if not longer,” Le Graet told AFP.

That means until Euro 2021 in England at least, and the aim in France is to keep developing the women's game to give them a chance of one day going all the way.

The FFF hope the number of registered female players will reach 200,000 next year, an increase of almost 10 percent from present figures, but far from the two million registered male players.

They have also promised to invest 15 million euros into a post-World Cup “legacy” fund.

The interest in the women's game is there, as shown by television audiences during the World Cup, with 11.8 million watching the USA game on terrestrial TV.

However, translating that to an increased following in the women's domestic league will be a bigger challenge.

France games have drawn sell-out crowds at the World Cup, but in general attendances in domestic competition are modest at best, even if almost 26,000 saw powerhouses Lyon beat closest rivals Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year.

“We cannot go from so much enthusiasm now to league matches on poor pitches with only 120 fans,” said Le Graet. “We all need to make an effort and we will.”

Matches are televised, but like elsewhere income remains light years from rights deals in the men's game — a new sponsorship contract for the 12-club top flight with chemicals company Arkema is worth one million euros per season for three years.

Average salaries are reportedly around 3,500 euros per month, although stars like Amandine Henry and Wendie Renard are believed to earn almost 10 times that at Lyon, who have won the Champions League in the last four years. Again, those sums are dwarfed by the wages often on offer to the men.

“We need to keep putting money in, keep professionalising, because other countries are doing it and maybe that's why they are ahead of us,” warned Lyon and France forward Eugenie Le Sommer.

“We have a good league but unfortunately not every team is professional.

“There are countries who are ahead of us and we must catch up. Even Spain are putting lots of money in and we need to make sure we are not left behind.”

READ ALSO: France coach laments 'failure' as hosts knocked out of World Cup

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