With the French team now vanquished from the 2010 World Cup, supporters of France are searching for a new underdog to root for.
Benjamin Le Grand, the recently bereaved FCC restaurant manager, has his eye on Argentina.
“I think they have a really good team,” he says, adding that he also has his eye on Brazil and New Zealand.
Raphael Guillien, chief operations officer for the FCC, was also hopeful that Argentina’s team would do well in the World Cup.
“They can really create good games. They’re nice to watch and they have some good players,” he says.
What wasn’t nice to watch, for the two Frenchmen, was how the French team and its coach performed in the World Cup before the team exited the event with no victories.
In France’s final match against South Africa, midfielder Yoann Gourcuff was ejected from the field for elbowing an opponent in the head before the team lost 2-1 to the host country. Shortly afterwards, the French coach, Raymond Domenech refused to shake hands with the South African coach.
In the game against Mexico, forward Nicolas Anelka yelled profanities at Domenech during half-time before being expelled from the team. The players protested by skipping a practice the following Sunday.
“Every French person was distraught,” Le Grand says. “For me, the problem was with the coach.”
Domenech simply didn’t do his job and the French team’s overall behavior on the field was a huge problem, Guillien says.
“The coach never did anything,” he says. “I think the French team had been behaving very badly. And that’s not a good example for anyone playing the game — especially not the kids.”
In the meantime, the FCC has been busy with its World Cup Special Promotion that began on June 1 and wraps up on July 11. Anyone who spends $5 or more at FCC Phnom Penh, FCC Angkor, Visaya Spa or Café Fresco will receive a scratch ticket and could win a prize. A total of 6,000 tickets are being handed out to customers — and 4,500 of them are winners.
“A lot of people have won — they’re going very fast,” Le Grand points out.
Prizes include 40 percent off rooms at The FCC, 30 percent off meals, 50 percent off at Visaya Spa, and free pizzas and drinks.
“There’s plenty of happy people — that was the idea,” Guillien says about what prompted the FCC to give out such a high percentage of winning tickets.
The FCC has been showing World Cup games on its large screens. And when teams such as England, Brazil and Spain are playing, Guillien says the establishment in Phnom Penh has been busy.
“They’re the ones driving most of the traffic,” he says.
As the promotion has been proving to be a success, will the FCC host another World Cup promotion in 2014?
“That is quite possible. It’s in four years time so we have time to think about it,” Guillien says.