January 20, 2020
Domestic cups have lost their lustre in recent years but the Coupe de France is as romantic as ever
There is still magic in the French Cup
By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News
La Magie de la Coupe is thriving in France. While the big European leagues demand more and more of our attention, the simple pleasure of a humble domestic cup is becoming more marginalised. This weekend, however, the biggest and arguably greatest cup competition in world football – led by the usual cast of postmen, builders and shop assistants – fought back for attention against the modern behemoths of Europe’s top five leagues and the Champions League.
Given that there are only three national leagues in France above the sprawling regional divisions, the scale of French football can be a little overwhelming. More than 8,000 teams entered the Coupe de France this season and not all of them are from within the country’s borders. Teams from French overseas departments and regions – such as Réunion in the Indian Ocean, Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean Sea, and Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean – all compete in the Coupe de France. ASPV Strasbourg travelled 20,000 miles to New Caledonia and back in November to face against Hienghène Sport in a seventh-round tie that makes Bournemouth v Newcastle look like a local derby.
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