Frexit! Belgium mocks France for leaving the EU – after crashing out of Euro 2020

France v Switzerland: Match in pictures

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Daily publication Le Soir compared France’s penalty shootout defeat to Switzerland to the country’s growing campaign to quit the European Union. Mockingly, the Belgian title emblazoned “Frexit” across its front page as it rejoiced in their local rival crashing out of the European Championships. “Frexit: Switzerland eliminates France on penalties,” Le Soir reads this morning.

The newspaper took great delight in France squandering a 3-1 lead going into the closing stages of their last-16 clash with Switzerland in Romania.

And it revelled even more in the missed penalty by French wonder kid Kylian Mbappe that sealed the world champion’s exit from the competition.

“For the Blues, on the other hand, the disappointment is immense: while they dreamed of reproducing the successful World-Euro double between 1998 and 2000, Didier Deschamps’ men fell in the first knockout match,” Le Soir wrote.

“Despite their title of world champions, despite their dream attack, and despite their lucky coach, whose worst performance since taking office in 2012.”

Belgium and France have enjoyed a competitive rivalry in recent years, with the latter knocking the other out in the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

But Belgium have come out on top this time, booking their place in the quarter-finals already.

With no love lost between the pair, Belgium’s main French-language newspaper saw humour in the growing calls for France to quit the EU.

“Frexit” – a French exit from the EU, coined after Brexit – campaigners have seen their popularity grow in the wake of the bloc’s shoddy response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While none of the country’s main political parties advocate leaving the EU, a growing group of campaigners, inspired by the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, are emerging.

Meanwhile, the EU has waded into the row over whether Wembley should be allowed to host the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020.

A top eurocrat said London should not be allowed to hold the three matches amid fears of the Delta variant.

EU Commissioner Margaritas Schinas urged Uefa to shift the matches elsewhere.

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The Government last week announced that the crowd capacity at Wembley will be raised to more than 60,000 for the contests.

Mr Schinas said: “I want to share my doubts about the possibility of organising the final and semi-finals at Wembley, in a packed stadium, at a time that the United Kingdom itself is limiting its citizens’ travel to the European Union.

“I think Uefa needs to carefully analyse this decision.”

But the Greek official has conceded the EU has no real powers to interfere in the European Championship’s schedule.

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He revealed no talks had been held between Brussels and football’s European governing body.

Mr Schinas told MEPs: “Those decisions are taken by Uefa.”

Uefa has already rejected calls from Italian PM Mario Draghi to move the final abroad to curb the spread of Covid variants.

British restrictions mean all EU regions apart from the Balearic Islands and Malta are on the amber list, requiring UK visitors to test and quarantine on their return.

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