Franco-Portuguese families spar on 1st semis | india | Hindustan Times
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Franco-Portuguese families spar on 1st semis

india Updated: Jul 04, 2006 20:29 IST

A family feud is brewing in the Rodrigues household, and the World Cup is to blame.

Allegiances in this Paris-based, Franco-Portuguese family were split going into tomorrow's World Cup semifinal between France - winner of the 1998 tournament - and Portugal, the sole semifinalist never to have won the title.

While mom, Frenchwoman Anne-Sophie, and her three kids, all born in France, will be rooting for Les Bleus, Portuguese father Fernando will be cheering for his homeland.

"Someone will be screaming out the window of our apartment whenever there's a goal - no matter which team scores it," said Anne-Sophie. If Portugal scores, she added, her husband would be screaming "all by himself."

Yet even this hard-core Tricolour fan would be sad to see Portugal lose. "It's hard because our hearts are in both countries," she said.

The Rodrigueses are not alone. More Portuguese live in France than in any other European country outside the Iberian Peninsula and many families are similarly divided.

Portuguese immigration to France began in the early 20th century, and reached its peak from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s, because of political repression and economic hardship back home.