A 20,000-mile round trip for a 2-0 cup defeat

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November 14, 2021
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    Google Maps image showing journey from Tahiti to France

    Have you ever moaned about a long journey back from an away game? Plymouth to Carlisle maybe? Brighton to Newcastle?

    Well spare a thought for 10-time champions of Tahiti AS Venus, whose 20,000-mile round trip for a cup game on Saturday means they must now embark on a gruelling journey to get home.

    And they lost 2-0.

    The side from French Polynesia – a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean – have enjoyed domestic success recently and that meant they qualified for the French Cup, which features teams from a variety of France's overseas territories.

    In 2020 JS Saint-Pierroise, a team from the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, made headlines when they reached the last 32 of a competition in which the majority of clubs come from the mainland, some 6,000 miles away.

    But that was easily eclipsed by AS Venus's 10,000-mile journey to French fourth-tier side Trelissac.

    Before the match, Venus head coach Samuel Garcia told the Oceania Football Confederation his team were "happy to be in France".external-link

    Victory would have secured a home tie in round eight but their elimination means they will now have to return to domestic matters, and attempting to defend their Coupe de Polynesie title which earned them their place in the competition.

    • Should clubs stop flying to domestic games for environmental reasons?

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