Torn loyalties in Montreal ahead of World Cup match between Canada and Belgium

MONTREAL — A soccer rivalry is forming in Montreal between fans of the national teams of Belgium and Canada ahead of Wednesday's World Cup match between the two countries.

Montreal has a sizable French-speaking Belgian community, and Wednesday's game will be Canada's first in the tournament since 1986.

David Dejean, a Belgian living in Montreal who recently obtained his Canadian citizenship, says there is no way he will be supporting the Canadian team and its star player, Alphonso Davies.

Dejean says that should Belgium lose, he will avoid going into work because many of his Canadian colleagues will never let him forget it.

Belgium is second in the FIFA rankings, and Canada is 41st.

Diogène Ntirandekura, a Belgian of African descent living in Montreal, says he is torn between supporting the two teams but admits he is hoping for a Belgian victory.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press