Most French papers lead with the second leg of the France-Ireland playoff for World Cup qualification. The match takes place at Stade de France tonight at 9pm, Paris time.
Sports paper l’Equipe dubs it ‘Le grand soir’ or ‘the big evening’. “Victorious in Dublin, the French side has to confirm its victory tonight at Stade de France in order to qualify for the World Cup.” The papers editorial warns against over-confidence. It says throughout French history right back to the Battle of Crécy in 1346, France has not fared well when it was certain of victory.
Yet when France’s back was against the wall, they won some decisive battles - at Valmy for example. However, going by this logic, the Irish should. It is after all their backs that are against the wall.
France Soir’s headline is “Allez la France”.
The Catholic paper La Croix says an excess of nationalism in football can lead to a loss of all reason as was seen last Saturday in advance of the Egypt-Algeria match where members of the Algerian national side were injured by over-zealous Egypt fans.
For Aujourd’hui en France, it’s ‘tonight or never’ for the French national side. They remind readers that France only needs a nil all draw to qualify for the World Cup. Inside they list some of the pitfalls for les Bleus, including an Irish side that performs well overseas and has nothing to lose.
Other stories in today’s French papers:
The revolt of the Republic’s elected representatives
Fillon braves the mayors’ revolt
At the Congress of French mayors, the PM defended his reform.
European presidency: ‘caricature of democracy’ (Daniel Cohn-Bendit)
13-year-old arrested in possible bid to shoot teachers