“Tonight, we love each other. Wednesday, we divorce” : thousands of supporters of France and Morocco celebrated – together – on Saturday evening December 10 on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the qualification of their respective teams for the semi-finals of the World Cup-2022, where they will compete .
As soon as the victory of the Blues against England known (2-1), the supporters, French or Moroccan flags on the back, found themselves on the avenue of two kilometers, under the horns of the cars and the cheers of the crowd .
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“And one, and two, and three stars”, was already enthusiastic, under the fireworks and the smoke, a group of young men, French flags drawn on the cheeks. In Doha, the Blues had just offered themselves a place in the semi-finals to face Morocco, who had eliminated Portugal (1-0) earlier in the day.
“We did not expect this (Moroccan) victory. Everyone is proud of it: I saw Algerian and Egyptian flags… It’s normal, it’s a first! », exclaims Amel Abdeljalil, 28, pushing aside the sides of his coat to show his jersey. The Atlas Lions are indeed the first African selection to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup, after failed attempts by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.
1,220 police and gendarmes mobilized
According to the Paris police headquarters (PP), around 20,000 people were present in the evening on the Champs-Elysées. On both sides of the avenue and at street intersections, the police were deployed, equipped with helmets and riot shields. The PP had announced that “1,220 police and gendarmes” in civilian clothes and in uniform would be mobilized from 4 p.m.
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“At the end of the evening, around 10:30 p.m., hostile groups sought confrontation with the police who systematically dispersed them”the police headquarters told AFP.
Around midnight, “74 arrests” had taken place, mainly for the firing of fireworks and the throwing of projectiles, and the dispersal was still in progress at this time.