Fans hope France will banish memories of 2010 fiasco

Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:11am EDT
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By Angus MacSwan

PORTO ALEGRE Brazil (Reuters) - The French Revolution of the last World Cup still haunts the memories of fans who have crossed the Atlantic to support Les Bleus in Brazil.

In 2010, players mutinied against coach Raymond Domenech and skulked home from South Africa after a debacle of a campaign.

This time round, though, fans are confident the team will dispense with underdogs Honduras in their opening Group E match in Porto Alegre on Sunday and finally bury the ghost of South Africa.

"We are going to win the match, I hope," said Dimitri Letourniant, a 38-year-old architect from Normandy. "South Africa was a big shame - all of France was ashamed."

Letourniant planned to follow the team from Porto Alegre, way down in Brazil's south, to Salvador in the north and on to Rio de Janeiro.

"If they don't get off the bus this time, we'll kill them. It's a lot of work and a lot of money for us to come here," he said.

He and other fans praised coach Didier Deschamps, saying he was a firm hand who had brought stability to the side,

"We have a good trainer. That's the most important. The negative players are out. It's young players now."   Continued...

France's national soccer team players attend a training session at the Botafogo soccer club's Santa Cruz stadium in Ribeirao Preto, 336 km (208 miles) northwest of Sao Paulo, June 13, 2014.     REUTERS/Charles Platiau