July 11, 2018 / 10:21 AM / 2 months ago

Brussels metro plays French soccer anthem after losing World Cup bet

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Brussels commuters, heading to work the morning after Belgium’s painful World Cup loss to France, had to endure the French soccer anthem piped through the city’s metro on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Semi Final - France v Belgium - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - July 10, 2018 Belgium's Eden Hazard in action with France's Antoine Griezmann REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo

The reason: not only did the national team lose 1-0 in Tuesday’s semi-final but also the Brussels public transport authority lost a bet with its Parisian counterpart.

Before the match, the two groups challenged each other on social media. If Belgium won, Paris would change signs at its Saint-Lazare station to “Saint Hazard” in honor of Belgian whirlwind midfielder Eden Hazard.

But after the “Golden Generation’s” defeat in St Petersburg, Brussels instead had to “treat” travelers to the anthem “Tous Ensemble” - All together - by late French rocker Johnny Hallyday at 8 and 10 am.

At least Hallyday’s father was a Belgian. The country honored the singer’s heritage when he died last year, playing his greatest hits on trains and over loudspeakers on the Grand Place in central Brussels.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Julia Echikson; editing by David Stamp

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