The senyera, the red and yellow flag of Catalonia, flies in a cloudless sky above the brick church of Saint-Jacques in Canet-en-Roussillon, very close to the stadium of the executioners of OM in the Coupe de France , proud of their identity and their “grinta”.
In normal times, the traders of the coastal town of the Pyrénées-Orientales, near Perpignan, would undoubtedly have adorned their windows in the same colors to support their “little ones” of Nationale 2 before their round of 16 this Wednesday against Boulogne-sur-Mer , club of the upper echelon.
But the doors to restaurants and ice cream parlors on the seafront are sadly closed with the pandemic and only a few municipal banners along the road between the beaches and the historic town mark the feat of local enthusiasts, who won Marseille in the previous round.
Without the camera, Canet would have had no trouble filling the Brutus stadium in Perpignan, where the Catalan Dragons rugby league team usually plays, which did not have to be asked to put its facilities at provision, with the help of the other flagship rugby club in the region, Usap.
“We are not going to let go”
On these lands of oval, the club must also face the power of attraction of FC Barcelona, whose Camp Nou is only a little over two hours away.
If Canet Roussillon FC does not always share the game, local players, like Toufik Ouadoudi, say they draw in their “Catalan blood” a characteristic “grinta”: “We can miss certain matches technically, but we will not never let go. “
“People here love the fight and these are values that we try to transmit to the whole group”, abounds Maxime Ferry, municipal police officer when he is not guarding the cages in Canétoises.
Values that could well carry Canet-en-Roussillon until quarter, verdict this Wednesday from 6:45 pm.