Ludicrous French cup tie forces fans to endure 16,000km away day across world

During the annual FA Cup draw, fans of Plymouth Argyle and Carlisle United cross all their fingers in hopes of not drawing each other.

But their mammoth 379-mile journey is blown out of the water by AS Vénus' away clash in the Coupe de France on Saturday evening.

Vénus, who are based on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, will travel over 16,000km to face Trélissac FC, from the Dordogne region of France.

But that situation isn't that out of the ordinary for the Coupe de France.

And Vénus are one of ten oversees territory teams that have made it to the seventh round of the tournament.

Vénus will be joined in the seventh round by sides from the Reunion Islands, off the coast of Africa, French Guiana, in South America, and Martinique, found in the West Indies, among others.

All these teams make the Coupe de France the largest tournament in the world with over 8,000 sides – the FA Cup had 736 this season – doing battle for the trophy.

This situation has occurred because these territories are technically still part of France.

In the same way that Corsica is French, so are the Reunion Islands and Tahiti.

What's the longest away day you've been on? Let us know in the comments section

This has led to some rather quirky situations.

France's biggest land border is Belgium or Switzerland, as some may guess – it is in fact Brazil, thanks to French Guiana.

This has had further knock-on effects with the EU too, and the largest national park in the EU's isn't the Alps.

Instead, it's the Amazon rainforest, or more specifically the Guiana Amazonian Park.

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But this has also led to some fairytale cup runs.

In 1989, ASC Le Geldar de Kourou, French Guiana, shocked the world when they became the first overseas side to make it to the Last 16.

Their feat still remains untouched, but in the 19/20 edition JS Saint-Pierroise, from the Reunion Islands made it to the Last 32.

Incredibly, Saint-Pierroise were able to dump out Chamois Niortais, who were then in Ligue 2, in the Round of 64.

https://usasportsradar.com/soccer/ludicrous-french-cup-tie-forces-fans-to-endure-16000km-away-day-across-world/

And all that brings us back to the ten times Champions of Tahiti, AS Vénus.

Vénus secured their spot in the seventh round by winning the Coupe de Polynesie earlier this year.

A win on Saturday evening could see the small island nation welcome Lionel Messi and co to their paradise in the near future.

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