Edginess to the contest expected
Al Rayyan – France’s first experience with a former colony in a World Cup match ended bitterly when, as defending champions, they played a fired-up Senegal in the opening game of the 2002 tournament and suffered a 10 defeat that precipitated a first-round exit.
Expectations for today’s meeting with Tunisia in their last group game in Qatar are very different, with the powerful French side through to the last 16, but there is sure to be an edginess to the contest, born of the colonial links between the countries.
Ten of the Tunisia squad members at this World Cup are French-born, some of them youth internationals for France before switching allegiance.
Experienced Tunisia striker Wahbi Khazri was born on the French island of Corsica and is on the books of Ligue 1 club Montpellier.
“I wanted to be in France s group before the draw. It’ s ’a dream come true,” Khazri told reporters yesterday.
“I try to represent Tunisia in France every weekend by performing well and I like to represent Corsica too, because I was born there.
“I carry a lot of flags on my shoulders, it’s nice. I am 100% Tunisian, 100% French and 100% Corsican. I have no embarrassment about that,” he added.
Khazri’s relaxed attitude towards the match at the Education City Stadium is not