France supporters in the West Bengal capital will get a feel of what it's like to be among their own and being in the thick of things, albeit in virtual reality, during the FIFA World Cup which begins in Russia on Thursday.
Alliance Francaise du Bengale, affiliated to the international network of the Alliances Francaises in the world, is organising a 'FIFA 18' video game contest on PlayStation for all French football team enthusiasts on June 22 and 23.
"It's open to all. It will be on June 22 and 23. We are doing this to celebrate the World Cup and make France supporters in the city get a feel of how it's like back home," Fabrice Plancon, Director of Alliance Francaise du Bengale told IANS.
"We have three PlayStations in the Alliance Francaise and we play FIFA 18. It's quite informal but it's a competition. There will be a Rs 100 registration fee," he said.
There will be two finalists who will fight it out on their joysticks, with the summit clash set to be shown on a giant screen.
"We will have a party on the day of the final match," Plancon said.
The ritual, Plancon said, is done every four years during the World Cup to engage France supporters and the French community here.
Talking about France's chances in Russia, Plancon said the team looks great and if they reach the final on July 15, there will be grand celebrations on the match day eve which coincides with Bastille Day (French National Day).
"The final is on July 15, and July 14 is French National Day. So on that day, I will be in the consulate for the party. We will have a party anyway whatever France do but if they reach the final, we will celebrate a lot on the eve. We will make special arrangements," said Plancon.
France, coached by Didier Deschamps, are in Group C along with Australia, Peru, and Denmark. The French team boasts of world-class players like Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and Kylian Mbappe to name a few.
"We are going to win, really. We did well in Euro 2016 and I feel this time Griezmann will shine," Olivier Cassin, Deputy Director of the Alliance Francaise du Bengale added.