A French soccer fan has written an open letter to Irish supporters and it’s safe to say that they have enjoyed our company over the last couple of weeks.
Irish fans have been in France to support their team in Euro 2016. Sadly they were knocked out of the tournament yesterday after losing 2-1 to France.
However, Ireland fans have made a big impression on the locals with several videos of supporters enjoying the craic with people of other nationalities such as France, Sweden and England.
A French supporter was so impressed by the Irish that he took the time to write a long letter thanking his ‘Irish brothers’ for their company and for spreading the love.
The letter from Olivier Sauton praised the Irish for the behaviour of their fans during the tournament. He even says that while his blood is French, his heart is becoming increasingly Irish.
He said that France had been going through turmoil before the tournament began with workers’ strikes and hate filled riots. He said that the arrival of the Irish had helped to put everybody in a great mood.
Sauton wrote: “You do honor to your country, your people, to your ancestors. Even drunk, you’re a gentleman. Even with your belly sticking over your shirt, you have class.
“Even defeated, you’re in good spirits. I love you, the Irish, and I think I am telling the truth when I say the whole France that has fallen under your charm. You have so conquered us than you reign over us already.”
The letter was translated by Celine Venet Le Riche. Here it is in full.
Olivier Sauton, je suis la bonne ame dont tu avais besoin, voici la traduction de ton texte qui m’a trop fait plaisir et qui fera encore plus plaisir a nos amis Irlandais.
Dear Irish supporter,
Sunday your country will face mine in the knockout stages of Euro 2016. Well you know what? If my country wins or yours, I’ll be happy. And I will celebrate. As If my blood is French, my heart, thanks to you and your comrades, is increasingly Irish.
Dear Irish supporter, you shall never measure how much good are you doing to our country. Before your arrival, here we kept to yell, people went on strike, they broke the shops and pounding it. We spoke only of hatred, discord and disgusting lawns of our stadiums.
Since you’re here, Irish friend, we speak only of generosity, brotherhood and good atmosphere that you put in the stands. In the stands and on the streets too! Every day all France feasts videos in which you sing ballads for pretty French ladies, lullabies for innocent babies, loving slogans for the police who remembers thanks to you it can be loved, you repair the car that you accidentally damaged and pushes repentance to compensate the driver, you even leaned up- such Japanese supporter-garbage that you leave! ETC … ETC … ETC … In fact if the Irish Wears green is because that’s a Martian. Yes, a human being with such heart, it can only be an extraterrestrial, or Irish.
You do honor to your country, your people, to your ancestors. Even drunk, you’re a gentleman. Even with your belly sticking over your shirt, you have class. Even defeated, you’re in good spirits. I love you, the Irish, and I think I am telling the truth when I say the whole France that has fallen under your charm. You have so conquered us than you reign over us already. When you see how much good you’re doing for our country, we French we say that Ireland is better than Holland …
Because it is much more than a good mood that you spread, Irish brother, it’s Love. Love others, stuff that had been forgotten. Love the beer too! You drink so much! ‘ve never seeing anything like it. And you’re beautiful when you drink! You sing, you laugh, you make friends and I rarely see you vomit. Spread the word: Irish is the best advertising for alcohol. In fact, I propose that on match days of the Irish team , we do not prohibit the sale of alcohol , but that make free and compulsory .
You remember in 2009, we ripped you off. We played like feet ( French expression for rubbish) and it took the hand of Thierry Henry to go to the World Cup. But if God is not (maybe) Irish, he must still know one in his family – divine justice – we were covered with ridicule, to make the whole world laugh (even strike history, specialty home …). At the time, despite the joy of qualifying, many French were ashamed because we agree the game was won, but at the same time we also lost our pride … You, you were sad but left with no violence, and you’re back in our country without seeking revenge. Hey, the Irishman: you are a great lord. The kind of guy to whom we bow. I swear if you win Sunday thanks to an imaginary penalty, a wandering hand, a bench not whistled, there will be no problem between us: a ball over the centre through the bar box. And the French who dare to complain, we will condemn him to only drink water, that’ll teach him. Waiting for the game, I will inquire about obtaining the Celtic nationality. I am even ready to learn your incomprehensible accent. I start this post on social networks as launching a bottle into the sea: I hope it will reach up to you. If a good soul could translate it, it will have my eternal gratitude because my English isn’t good enough. At school, I was too busy looking at the girls’ skirts rather than learn my irregular verbs, you will understand me and excuse me.
Have a good game, Irish brother.
You can be proud.
Because the Euro is not over and yet you’ve already won.
Translated by Celine Venet Le Riche