France celebrates as The Sun’s England football campaign backfires

People in Paris turned posters designed to annoy the French ahead of the France-England quarter-final around on the tabloid

The Sun newspaper had taken out adverts designed to taunt the French ahead of the World Cup game, but it backfired when the England team lost 2-1
Published Last updated

What’s the French for ‘schadenfreude’? People in Paris are poking fun at a football campaign by British tabloid The Sun, which backfired after France beat England 2-1 at the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Posters created by The Sun had appeared across Paris ahead of the match in support of the England squad, specifically designed to taunt the French.

Slogans included “Allez les Rosbifs”, “Au revoir les Gaulois” and “Le roi Kyle”. The latter had the name ‘Kylian’ crossed out above ‘Kyle’, and was a reference to the so-called rivalry between England player Kyle Walker and French player Kylian Mbappé.

But the campaign spectacularly backfired after the French team beat the English, with Harry Kane missing the penalty that could have equalised the score.

Now, internet users have been responding to The Sun’s misplaced pride, with messages saying the campaign was ‘karma’, and re-baptising The Sun as ‘The Seum’.

Seum is from the Arabic summ, meaning venom or poison, and avoir le seum is a common slang expression meaning ‘to be cheesed off’, ‘to be frustrated’, ‘to be gutted’ or ‘to be disappointed’. Many of the English posters were doctored and changed to show the French players winning.

Others took English slogans such as “It’s coming home” and turned them around to mock the newspaper and the English team.

One message said: “You were right folks, your boys are coming home! With their hands empty as usual.” The England team is now out of the World Cup, which is being held in Qatar.

One doctored photo showed a banner as if it had been attached to London landmark clock Big Ben, showing ‘The Seum’ as the redtop title, a French player pulling a face suggesting ‘I told you so’, and the slogan “England is BLUE”, in reference to the ‘les bleus’ nickname for the French team.

One tweet summarised the response, with a photo of a cockerel standing on, and stringing up, a side of roast beef. This symbolises the French ‘coq’ and the English ‘rosbif’.

It comes as the French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra took the opportunity to send a subtle pro-LGBTQ+ message during the match. She wore a blue jumper (for ‘les bleus’) with rainbow sleeves.

The rainbow is widely used as a pro-LBGTQ+ symbol, as it reflects the diversity of the human sexuality spectrum and a dig at Qatar’s oppressive laws on this.

Related articles

French football phrases you may hear in England-France World Cup game

France Qatar 2022: Minister sends LGBTQ+ message with rainbow jumper