Football: World Cup: In France Without A Ticket

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Nicholas Harling's daily quest to see a World Cup match: Days Four and Five

The absurd ease at entering France's opening fixture at cost price gave way to a frustrating weekend. Those who expected to walk into the Stade Gerland in Lyons parting with only a few francs to watch Mexico beat South Korea on Saturday were to be sadly disappointed. It was all I could do to persuade a well-to-do Frenchman with a 250fr ticket to come down from 555 to 500fr moments before the start.

Such a price in Toulouse yesterday would have been a bargain indeed. There were so many disconsolate Argentines and Japanese outside the Stade Municipal that the tout demanding 14,000fr for two tickets probably had no need to lower his price. Me? I took to a local bar where I saw the game on television. It was my first failure.