The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

U.S. fans chant ‘Equal Pay!’ in Paris streets on the way to World Cup quarterfinal

Fans of USA show their support prior to the quarterfinal match against France in Paris on Friday. (Getty Images) (Elsa/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national team’s match with France in Paris on Friday promised a stadium full of red, white and blue — the French flag shares the same colors — but it was hard to expect what kind of presence American fans would make in the French capital.

Now we know: a big one.

Traffic in parts of the city halted late Friday and Parisians craned their heads out of windows as the American Outlaws supporters group and other fans marched through the streets on the way to Parc des Princes.

At one point, fans sang to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” affectionately replacing “saints” with “Yanks” (short for Yankees). At others, they chanted “Equal pay!” recognizing the players’ lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging gender-based pay discrimination.

Spectators have already purchased more than one million tickets for the month-long tournament, with more than 100,000 of those coming from the United States, Erwan Le Prevost, the director of the World Cup Local Organising Committee, told Reuters.

A great many of them seem to have arrived for this quarterfinal match, hailed as potentially the tournament’s deciding contest between two powerhouse teams.

Read more:

On Women’s World Cup rosters, the global impact of Title IX is clear

Carli Lloyd and the U.S. women golf-clap back at critics of their celebrations

Alex Morgan is the face of U.S. soccer and now its golden boot

Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle are best friends, roommates and now, World Cup goal-scorers