Charlottetown soccer fans celebrate World Cup final

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Charlottetown soccer fans celebrate World Cup final

Hunter's Ale House in Charlottetown was just about vibrating with excitement Sunday afternoon while France fans cheered, danced and sang as their team won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The popular pub was packed with soccer enthusiasts, many sporting French flags.

"We've got a lot of friends here, so it's like France. It's a small part of France today," said Fabrice Perran, who is from that country.

Soccer matches good for business

Staff at Hunter's say the pub was busy with soccer fans throughout the World Cup matches and the final brought an even larger crowd. 

"Sales for right now, we're probably double, if not close to triple, what we would be at this time [on a Sunday]," said manager Nicola Reynolds. 

The were a handful of Croatia fans in attendance, but the room was dominated by people cheering for France — many of them, like Perran, from France themselves. 

Angeline Hirlory sat at a table with about a dozen other France fans. Hirlory moved to P.E.I. from France two months ago. 

"I'm glad to be around a lot of French people because it's kind of sad being away from France during the World Cup. But I feel great," she said. 

'Biggest day of my life'

With a French flag draped over her shoulders, Marion Pauzier watched the game intently, excited and nervous to see the outcome. She describes soccer as being "like a religion" in France. And she says a World Cup win is something she has waited a long time to see. 

"It's probably the biggest day of my life, I think. We won World Cup in 1998, but I was four, so I don't remember. So that's something very, very important for me," Pauzier said. 

She said she wished she could be at home in France to take part in the massive celebrations there, but is glad to have found others to celebrate with in P.E.I. 

"Soccer, it's kind of this sport you can stay together and celebrate even if you don't know people. And that's what it is right now. I don't know everyone here, but I'm going to celebrate ... like family," Pauzier said.

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