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WORLD CUP

Victory parade: When do France’s World Cup heroes arrive in Paris?

France’s triumphant World Cup team will land in Paris on Monday and parade the World Cup trophy through the packed streets of the French capital.

Victory parade: When do France's World Cup heroes arrive in Paris?
France's victorious 1998 World Cup winning team parade in an open top bus down the Champs Elysees. Photo: AFP
If you want to join in the celebrations as France’s victorious team returns home from Moscow with the trophy under their arm, here’s what you need to know about the victory parade. 
 
Once the players have landed at Roissy Airport at around 15h55 local Paris time, they will be taken directly to the Champs-Elysees Avenue on an open top double-decker bus.
 
The parade – which will see the team proudly display the World Cup trophy to hundreds of thousands of fans – is set to begin at around 17.30 and end at 18.30. 
 
If you're planning to reach Paris city centre by Metro, be aware that nine stops on seven lines will be closed from midday until after the celebrations have ended. 
 
 
 
These are: 
 
Line 1: Argentina, Tuileries, George V, Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, Franklin D.Roosevelt and Concorde.
Line 2: Charles de Gaulle Etoile.
Line 6: Charles de Gaulle Etoile and Kléber.
Line 8: Concorde.
Line 9: Miromesnil and Franklin D.Roosevelt.
Line 12: Concorde.
Line 13: Miromesnil and Champs Elysees Clemenceau.
RER A: Charles de Gaulle Etoile.
 
(France's victorious 1998 World Cup winning team parade in an open top bus down the Champs Elysees. AFP)
 
“Nearly 2,000 people will be mobilized to secure the event at the Champs-Elysees,” police sources have said. 
 
City authorities want to be prepared for any eventualities and are preparing a special course of action to ensure the general security of the event and avoid the looting and vandalism seen on the Sunday night following France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia. 
 
After their parade, les Bleus and their families will be received by President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace at 6.45 pm. After meeting the players and the families in private for a short time Macron will then invite the squad out into the garden of the Elysées Palace for a reception, where no doubt spirits will be high.
 
Some 4,000 guests are expected to be in attendance. After the Elysée reception the players will spend their last night together at the luxury Crillon hotel before leaving on their own holidays. 
 
Macron revelled in Sunday night's triumph as these images show and one particular photo of him punching the air in delight in the seated VIP section went viral in France.
 
'Merci, you did it': Macron revels in France's World Cup triumph
 

Macron was on the pitch to greet and hug the French players and also went into the dressing room after the game to celebrate with the players and commend them on their success of winning France's second World Cup.

Macron was captured giving a speech to the victorious players during which he said: “I told you and the coach to bring back the second star. You did it ! You made us dream, you played wonderful football, you made 60 million French people and kids everywhere dream and you'll see tomorrow when you go back home. I wanted to tell you the children, a big thank you to you, to the whole team. “

 
 
 
 
 
 

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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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