Fri | Nov 16, 2018

Kelly's World | The French connection I am trying to break

Published:Monday | October 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM

When it comes to France, I have a love-hate relationship. Various events that I love have made it hard for me to hate the country.

Let's start at the beginning. My connection with the French started off on a very positive note.

My first scholastic introduction to a foreign language was French and I wasn't bad at it. Things got tricky around third form, but that's another matter for another time.

I did the subject up to CXC level and left with a creditable grade two. Haven't touched it since, but that's not out of malice.

But back to high school. My French journey was still moving along nicely when the Reggae Boyz qualified for the World Cup in France.

That was the greatest achievement in Jamaica's football history and I got to learn more about cities like Toulouse, Nice and Nantes along the way.

So things were going swimmingly with me and the red, white and blue.

So you might be wondering what exactly is my issue with Les Bleus and where things went to hell.

Well, everything was going fine in the aforementioned World Cup tournament until the final when the host nation beat my beloved Brazil 3-0. Damn you bald head Zinedine Zidane.

I've never really forgiven France for that, yes, even 20 years later.

To make matters worse, in the 2006 World Cup, the last for many Brazilian heroes like Cafu, France beat dem again.

I swear Zidane and Thierry Henry were trying to send up my blood pressure.

But over time, I felt that I should let bygones be bygones.

So interestingly, I was rooting for France to win the European Championships held in their backyard in 2016. So, of course, they lost to Portugal in the final.

 

WINNING THE WORLD CUP

 

And then to make matters worse, the French then decided to win the World Cup earlier this year.

I can't win with these guys, whether I want them to win or lose.

The weird thing is I wasn't cheering for Croatia in 1998 because they walloped Jamaica, but I became a fan of the squad in this year's tournament.

It's as if every time I try to get rid of France, or cut them a little slack, they annoy me and pop up once again to cause me even a bit of discomfort.

So as if the universe is desperately trying to make me like France again, the Reggae Girlz promptly qualified for the Women's World Cup which will be held ... where?

Yep, France again! Seriously, what are the odds of Jamaica's senior football teams both qualifying for World Cups in the same country basically 20 years apart?

Now, I have no choice but to lap up all the French atmosphere as we prepare to watch the Reggae Girlz play ball next year.

I'm telling you I'm this close to throwing in the towel and burying the hatchet with the French once and for all. But I'm stubborn like a mule, so knowing me, I'll find a way to stay mad at the French, if only for a little longer.

And Zidane can still gwey!

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com