Football: World Cup - In France Without A Ticket

Nicholas Harling's daily quest to see a World Cup match: Day 17
Click to follow
The Independent Online
My reluctance to fork out up to 5000 francs for the highly dubious privilege of standing - on seats - among the English rabble in Lens led me to an alternative pasture in Lyon. The desperation of some fans in Lens had persuaded some of them to leave messages in the Town's telephone kiosks requesting tickets. No such contingency plans were needed in Lyon for an academic fixture given extra appeal by the endearing qualities of Japan and their shrieking ever-so well behaved supporters. Japan's pursuit of a first World Cup goal provided me with a good enough reason to attend; likewise thousands of other ticketless hopefuls. At the station I exchanged a spare 500 franc Netherlands v Yugoslavia ticket I already bought for Toulouse on Tuesday with a 350 franc ticket offered by a Japanese who paid me the difference. Tickets were going for well under cost prices at the ground.

Total games: 17. Total cost price: 6,230 fr. Total prices paid 6,405 fr. Two failures to get in.