Briton bemused after failing to find ‘vino’ at Rugby World Cup stadium in France

‘We asked for vino and they couldn’t understand us at all,’ says Brit bemused at failure to buy a glass of wine at the Rugby World Cup in France

George Mathias
Thursday 14 September 2023 15:37 BST
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Left to right - Dany Smith, Linda Russ, Lindsey Jones, Adrian Smith and Kevin Russ at the Velodrome stadium, Marseille.
Left to right - Dany Smith, Linda Russ, Lindsey Jones, Adrian Smith and Kevin Russ at the Velodrome stadium, Marseille. (Linda Russ / SWNS)

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A Brit was left bemused after being told there was no “vino” for sale at a Rugby World Cup stadium in France.

Linda Russ, 64, says women weren’t catered for at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille - as only beer was available.

The stadium is located in the historic French province of Provence, which is famous for its wines.

But Linda claims the irony was missed by staff - who she says stared back at her with a blank expression and said “non” when she asked for a glass.

She was in the south of France with a group of friends to watch England and Scotland’s first games over the weekend.

Linda, a retired school operations manager from Bristol, said: “Being in Provence, you would have thought they’d have wine.

“The restaurants nearby had it, but there was none in the stadium. It was strange.

“There were no alcoholic drinks at the Vélodrome for women. The only alcoholic drink available was beer and it ran out on both days before the match started.

“We asked for wine and they said no.

“We always go to the Bristol Bears rugby back home. It’s usually always cider or wine for the girls.

“I think they just weren’t equipped to deal with rugby fans.

“The people serving were so young, we asked for “vino” and they couldn’t understand us at all.”

Wine is thought to have been made in Provence for at least 2,600 years, ever since the ancient Greeks founded the city of Marseille in 600 BC.

And France and wine are synonymous the world over.

Linda, who often goes to rugby games with family and friends, says she enjoys a drink while watching.

She said: “We were thinking they may not have cider, which is what we normally have as we’re from Bristol.

“We even tried ordering vino blanc and vino rouge, but they didn’t understand us at all!”

Linda says the beer that was available quickly ran out too - which she views as a man’s drink.

She said: “It was very strange that there seemed to only be alcohol for the men and not for the women.

“We also noticed the toilets didn’t stock up on paper towels from the previous night in the women’s toilets.

“It was really poor preparation - they were completely overwhelmed.”

Asked how the stadium should better prepare for games, Linda said: “Get some wine in, get more beer in, and be more prepared.”

“They’ve got to realise us rugby fans drink a lot.”

The Stade Vélodrome and World Rugby were approached for comment.

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