SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

France enjoy dream start to World Cup on home soil

Host nation France crushed South Korea 4-0 in the opening game of the women's World Cup on Friday.

France enjoy dream start to World Cup on home soil
France's midfielder Amandine Henry celebrates after scoring against South Korea. Photo: AFP

It was a fine start to a tournament that has been billed as the biggest yet for the women's game, with a sell-out crowd of more than 45,000 filling the Parc des Princes in Paris and celebrating a rampant French victory.

Les Bleues are among the favourites to win the trophy on home soil and they showed no mercy to the Koreans, with the prolific Eugenie Le Sommer giving them an early lead and defender Wendie Renard — the tournament's tallest player — twice heading home before the interval.

Captain Amandine Henry, impressive throughout, wrapped up the win late on in the Group A encounter, watched by French President Emmanuel Macron and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino.

Infantino has promised the month-long tournament will see the “explosion” of the women's game, with almost a million tickets sold so far for matches in the nine host cities.

On an emotional opening night, Henry said she and her teammates had been “close to tears” as the national anthem played before kick-off.

“I could not have dreamed for more than this,” Henry said.

France coach Corinne Diacre struck a note of caution as she warned: “This is just one step. We have six more to go and we need to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard.”

It was a fine start for France and the tournament with a carnival atmosphere as the French showed their credentials having been set the target by their own federation of going all the way to the final in Lyon on July 7th.

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Women's World Cup in France

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOTBALL

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.

 

Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.

SHOW COMMENTS