FC Chambly went to Gothenburg to revisit their Gothia friends
Due to the Coronavirus disease pandemic, Gothia Cup got canceled for the first time since the start in 1975. This was a huge disappointment to many teams but it didn’t stop French team FC Chambly to visit Gothenburg.
For ten days the French boys from Chambly, not far away from the capital of Paris, have been staying at Askims IK clubhouse in Gothenburg for a training camp. The camp has mainly focused on integration, but some friendly games where played with some teams from the Gothenburg area.
“It’s pretty easy at the time to arrange friendly games. All teams are home and most of them are eager to play, so to arrange friendly matches isn’t really that difficult”, says Antoine Meunier, organisational developer for Askims IK.
When we visited them on Kobbens IP, FC Chambly had just played a match against Örgryte IS.
“It was a good game, I actually got some Gothia vibes”, says Antoine laughing as he describes the game that ended 3-3.
“We haven’t been able to play football in France in almost four months so to come here and play feels amazing. We started training two weeks ago but we normally don’t train during the summer holidays”, says Christophe Languille, the coach of FC Chambly.
Antoine and Christophe met right before Gothia Cup five years ago when the French team stayed at a clubhouse nearby. Since Antoine spoke French, he thought it was extra fun to get in touch with the team, and since then they’ve made sure to keep in touch.
“I’m hoping that we can get the opportunity to visit them in France. It’s an exchange of experience for us in Askims IK as well. You get an opportunity to exchange cultural and linguistic skills and at the same time practice football, it helps young people to develop in many different areas.”
Christophe has visited Gothenburg and the Gothia Cup every year since 2012 and he was very disappointed when the tournament was canceled.
“It was of course a disappointment, but you understood why. It would have created very large crowds. I mostly miss playing games but also the atmosphere around the entire tournament.”
Furthermore, Christophe tells how the boys pushed him to contact Antoine and how happy he is about the opportunity to visit Gothenburg, despite the ongoing pandemic.
“It felt important to take the chance to come here, mainly for the boys sake. I think it is difficult for many children to understand why they’re not allowed to play and perhaps it is extra important for them to do so right now.”
“The boys love Gothia Cup. Last year they reached the semifinals and they were hoping to go even further this year. And of course, we will be back next time. I mean, we have to!”