Saturday 22 June 2019, 08:00

#FIFAFanMATCH makes France 2019 unforgettable for four fans

  • #FIFAFanMATCH connects the world’s most dedicated fans during the FIFA Women's World Cup™

  • Fans submitted thousands of comments supporting their favourite players with emojis

  • Four winners were chosen to fly to Paris for the opening match of the tournament

Qatar Airways and FIFA share the goal of bringing fans from all over the world together. This was especially the case during this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™ where four lucky winners from different countries were united in Paris by the #FIFAFanMATCH campaign.

It didn’t take much time for friendships to take off as the fans met each other for the first time on the plane to Paris. To turn the winners into a team, FIFA together with Qatar Airways left custom-made jerseys on the business-class seats of each fan as a surprise.

After trying on their jerseys and landing in the capital of France, the team was met by their host, Romane, a local member of the FIFA Fan Movement, who took them on a journey to the Parc des Princes. The fans got to know each other even more by going on a sightseeing tour curated by the host, trying delicious French cuisine prepared by top chefs and celebrating the start of the tournament with other fans in the FIFA Fan Zone.

“The first thing I thought when I arrived in Paris was that it is so beautiful,” said Irvin, the Brazilian fan whose first impression of France will always stay with him.

Even though the day was jam-packed with activities, nothing could prepare our fans for the biggest highlight: the opening ceremony and opening match. Fireworks, live music and choreographed performances got the party started and created an electrifying atmosphere in the stadium.

Then, the France and Korea Republic teams came onto the pitch under the deafening chants from a sold-out stadium. The hosts shined in their opener with a convincing 4-0 victory.

“It’s nice to see the host country going out with a bang and not holding back,” said Gia in a video she posted on her Facebook page.

Brooke, a fan who came all the way from Doha, said that it felt really empowering to see so many young girls’ excited faces, supporting their teams wholeheartedly until the final whistle.

The four winners started off as strangers, but were calling each other “family” by the end of the day, Irvin's Instagram post points out.