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French DOM-TOM Bloggers on Zidane's “Coup de Tete”

Bloggers from the French Overseas Departments and Territories of the Caribbean and Oceania had much to say about the French soccer team's performance at the World Cup Final. The French from “l'outre-mer” simply had no choice but to strongly identify with the potential glory and the shame of a team comprised mostly of Frenchmen of African, Caribbean and North African descent.

Gearing up for the France-Italy Final in New Caledonia

Caledonian Supporters of Les Bleus during the France-Portugal match. By Sebastien Merion.

Blogger Sebastien Merion gave us a taste of the pre-match excitement:

A quelques heures du coup d'envoi de la finale de la coupe du monde France – Italie, l'ambiance est à la fête et on y croit aussi de l'autre côté de la planète ! Des drapeaux se vendent sur l'Anse-Vata, la place des cocotiers est prête à retransmettre le match sur écran géant avec petit dêj offert par la Mairie et l'hôtel de la Province Sud a dressé une affiche de 14 mètres de haut sur sa façade ! (une photo de jeunes supporters que j'ai fait à l'Anse-Vata lors de la victoire de la France sur le Portugal).

A couple of hours from the start of the World Cup final between Italy and France, the atmosphere is festive and we too “believe” half-way across the world! Flags are being sold at Anse-Vata, the Place des Cocotiers is getting ready to broadcast the match on a giant screen along with breakfast served by City Hall and the headquarters of the South Province have a 14 meter long banner on its facade! (A picture of young supporters that I took at Anse-Vata during France's victory over Portugal.)

The above post came complete with a podcast of a Caledonian song made for the occasion titled Zidane Il Va Marquer [Zidane Will Score].

A commentator to Merion's blog put the match in political context:

Les Francais qui conspuaient Chirac il y a trois mois lui baiseront les pieds si l'équipe de France gagne! Le Pen en oublierait même que la France naturalise pour avoir des sportifs de talents!!! Elle n'a pas un goût amere cette coupe du monde?

The French who were booing Chirac three months ago will kiss his feet if the French team wins! [Right-wing anti-immigration French politician Jean-Marie] Le Pen might even forget that France hands out naturalization papers to have talented players!!! Is this a bitter World Cup or what?

14 meter long banner on the headquarters of South Province, New Caledonia. By Sebastien Merion.

Reactions to Zidane's “Coup de Tete”

Though the French lost, they will mostly remember this World Cup for the head blow by French football superstar Zidane that knocked Italian player Materazzi to the ground … and the red card he received for it in his last match ever.

From Martinique, said:

La bosse de Materazzi : un bien triste souvenir que pourrait contempler Zinedine Zidane devant son miroir, pendant quelques jours, en pensant à ce qu'aurait pu être le match de la finale de la Coupe du Monde de Football sans ce “coup de tête” contre le joueur Italien…Allez, deux aspirines (prévues initialement comme antidote à un lendemain de fête) et on n'en parle plus.

The blow to Materazzi: a sad souvenir that Zinedine Zidane will have to contemplate in his mirror for a few days, while wondering what the final could have been without the head butt against the Italian player … Okay, two Aspirin (usually an antidote to hangovers) and let's forget it all.

Still from Martinique, Bien Vu was less forgiving and had no kind words forthe one French fans call “Zizou”:

Mais voilà, nous ne sommes pas fiert d'avoir subi en direct un acte bien contestable et répréhensible où tout français digne de ce nom devrait condamner sans appel à savoir : le coup de boule de Zidane ! La honte pour nous tous français, protagonistes des bonnes manières, revendicateurs du savoir-vivre… TOUT FAUX !! Non seulement cet imbécile (car il n'y pas d'autres mots…) a agit sous une impulsion complètement déplacée à un tel niveau mais en plus, il nous a privé, nous et son équipe, de tous les efforts et de toutes les espérances que nous faisions face à ce match illustre ! Il peut se cacher car même la cérémonie de fin s'est faîte sans lui, la honte sur le plus grand joueur mondial de s'abaisser comme un vulgaire voyou irresponsable et irrespectueux indigne de sa réputation. (…) Disparait !

We can't be proud of having endured a dubious and reprehensible act that each French person worth the name should condemn: Zidane's head butt! A shameful act for all of us who are French, protagonists of good manners, supporters of savoir-vivre… HOW FAKE!! Not only did this imbecile (there is no better word to designate him…) act under an impulse completely inappropriate for his level but also did he deprive us, we and the team, of all the efforts and hopes that we had for this match! He should indeed hide because even the closing ceremony took place without him. Shame on the best worldwide player for lowering himself like a vulgar irresponsible and disrespectful thug undeserving of his reputation. (…) Get lost!

Martinique's Le Blog de [Moi]expressed disappointment but still had affection for Zizou:

Arrrrrrrrrrrgh, dire que tout aurait pu être différent si, 5 mn avant sur la centre de Sagnol, il avait frappé le ballon de la même manière (avec la même rage) ! (…) Arrrrrrrgh !!! Pourquoi Zizou ? Pourquooooooooooi ??????

Arrrrrrrgh, to think that all could have been different if 5 minutes earlier on Sagnol's center pass, he had hit the ball in the same manner (with the same rage)! (…) Arrrrrrgh!!! Why Zizou? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?????

From New Caledonia, Notre Vie a Noumea thanked the Bleus but acknowledged that some probably pro-Independence Kanaks did not feel the same solidarity:

La calédonie a vibré avec les bleus mais pourtant surprise on a vu ce matin des drapeaux italiens flotter au son des klaxons sur des voitures et des camions. Et à l'interieur, non pas des italiens, du moins je crois pas, mais des kanaks. J'avoue que ça fait drôle mais c'est leur façon de dire on est pas français, c'est leur liberté d'expression. Pourtant il me semble malgré tout que ce qui ressort de cette épopée des bleus sur le caillou est une grande fête ou chacun se souvient tout à coup qu'il est français et en est fier ! (ça c'est plus rare). Alors merci les bleus, merci le sport pour son pouvoir de rassembler !

Caledonia vibed with the Bleus but surprise surprise this morning some Italian flags could be observed floating to the sound of honking cars and trucks. And those inside were not Italians but Kanaks. I must admit it was strange but it is their way of saying “we are not French”, it's their freedom of speech. But despite it all what transpires from the Bleus’ epic on Caledonia is a great celebration where each person remembers suddenly that he/she is French and proud to be! (that's rare). So thank you les Bleus and thank sports for its rallying power!

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