British tabloid The Sun has set up electronic billboards in central Paris, in a tongue-in-cheek dig at the French ahead of England’s World Cup quarter-final match on Saturday.

Nine-metre-high billboards declaring England captain Harry Kane ‘King Harry’ and informing Parisiens that the World Cup “is coming home” appeared around the Eiffel Tower on Friday, attracting onlookers as well as a measure of outrage on social media.

In another image, a tagline referencing French star Kylian Mbappe was crossed out and replaced with one for the England defender likely to be marking him Kyle Walker, with a crown placed on Walker’s head.

And England striker Marcus Rashford was shown alongside the pun ‘It’s Gaul Over’.

The stunt was applauded by French media. Le Parisien described the billboards as “posters full of very British humour” while sports daily L’Equipe said they featured “amusing punchlines with dubious puns."

Not everyone was amused by the idea, though.

A French football Twitter page described the Sun’s stunt as “classless as ever”, and some readers agreed, saying the tabloid should have spent the money in England “which is what The Sun preaches all the time”.

Another user compared The Sun’s “patriotic” billboards to the tabloid’s outraged reaction to Meghan Markle laughing about courtesying the Queen.

England and France face each other in their quarter-final match-up at 8pm on Saturday. The winner will go on to face the winner of Morocco vs Portugal. That match begins at 5pm.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us