ROUEN - Thousands of Quevilly residents have flocked to the town hall to collect black and yellow scarves in a show of support for the amateur side which faces Paris Saint-Germain in Wednesday's French Cup semi-final.
The side from Normandy have already knocked out Ligue 1 teams Rennes and Boulogne on their way to becoming only the third fourth division club to reach the last four of the competition.
"Paris Saint-Germain don't scare anybody, especially not in a semi-final. There's only one game left between us and Stade de France and hopefully we'll get there," toothless fan Eric told Reuters.
A banner reading "All with USQ" hung at the town hall where team scarves were being handed out free by municipality staff.
Quevilly, who as a third division team lost the 1927 final to Olympique Marseille, are already eyeing a second appearance and have booked seats for their supporters at the Stade de France on May 1.
"We've been asked by the French Federation if we wanted to book 19,500 seats for the final at Stade de France, we answered yes," Quevilly chairman Michel Mutel told Reuters. Fewer than 23,000 people live in the Rouen suburb.
Quevilly coach Regis Brouard congratulated his players on their Cup run but added they should not feel satisfied with what they have achieved.
"I demand a lot from them but now they have been rewarded by this run. But (this semi-final) is not an end in itself, we have to continue to go forward and to win, because that is what sport is all about," Brouard told Reuters near the pitch surrounded by wooded hills where the players trained.
His players have already secured a 3,500 euro bonus each and they hope to double this sum by beating PSG, who have endured a difficult season in the middle of the Ligue 1 table.
"We're serene and quiet... It's just a football game," Brouard said.
The match will be played in Caen, 120 km away, after the French Football Federation and security officials decided the Rouen stadium did not meet safety requirements.
PSG fans have been banned from attending after the Ligue 1 club decided to stop selling tickets for away games until the end of the season for safety reasons.
Tickets for the match have only been sold to people living in Normandy and showing identity papers.
Nearly a thousand policemen will be on duty around the stadium in Caen, including a unit specialising in fighting hooliganism.
Trains and cars coming from Paris will be searched to try and prevent suspected troublemakers attending the game.
Monaco host Lens in the other semi-final on Tuesday.comments