France is hosting the Rugby World Cup for the first time in history. A total of 20 countries will compete for the Webb Ellis Cup from September 8 to October 28. A scandal broke out at the inauguration. Emmanuel Macron entered the field to officially open the World Cup and say a few words to the players and fans.
But the French head of state’s speech at the Stade de France in Paris was interrupted several times. A whistling concert took place.
Macron later applauded the participating teams. The French President also wanted the hosts to win. Later, the call “Allez les bleus” could also be heard. But abuses, whistles and insults were heard against Macron not only in the stadium, but also at the public event on the beach in Marseille.
Several MPs commented on the incident via Twitter. LFI coordinator Manuel Bompard wrote: “King Macron is being insulted by the French people! We will never leave him alone! Allez les bleus!
Bastien Lachaud, LFI MP from Seine-Saint-Denis, said: “People do not forget the humiliation and the pension reform. “They got the welcome they deserved.” Lachaud mentioned the controversial pension reform. At the beginning of the year, thousands of people demonstrated against the reforms in France. Accordingly, the retirement age will be gradually increased from 62 to 64 years. The reform came into effect on Friday, September 1.
However, the president’s popularity ratings have been at a low point since then. Macron recently stopped appearing in public with audiences to avoid further aggravation.
At least from a sporting perspective, France had reason to celebrate. The French team won 27:13 (9:8) in the opening game on Friday evening in extremely hot temperatures at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis New Zealand. The French underlined their title ambitions to the delight of over 80,000 spectators, while it was the “All Blacks” first defeat in a World Cup group game.
The match-winner for “Les Bleus” was Thomas Ramos, who scored 17 points with five converted penalty kicks and one try tally. In the end, two tries from Mark Telea were clearly not enough for the New Zealanders. However, both teams from Group A are considered favorites for the two spots to advance to the quarter-finals.
The Frenchman, ranked third in the world rankings, is looking to win his first World Cup title in his country, while the New Zealanders are looking for their fourth World Cup gold. The final will take place on 28 October at the Stade de France, with the winner receiving the famous Webb Ellis Cup.