• The members of the South Winners, one of the groups of supporters of Olympique de Marseille, made a tifo for OM - Strasbourg on Sunday (20:45) on the occasion of International Women's Day.
  • They entirely designed and built a tifo representing them, an idea validated by 85% of the members of the supporters' group.
  • This is the first tifo performed by women within a group of supporters according to the South Winners.

Less than 48 hours before revealing their work of several months, the pressure is palpable in the Parc Chanot, a stone's throw from the Velodrome stadium. They are about twenty supporters of Olympique de Marseille, to refine what will be the first tifo designed and made by women in a group of supporters, according to the South Winners, on the occasion of the reception of Strasbourg this Sunday (20:45)

Emeline, 35, is one of the women in the group to have carried out this project. "The idea came last year during the 35th anniversary of the Winners. We were a few girls pretty well invested in rolling placemats and helping the boys for this occasion. We thought "why not make a tifo that represents us girls". One of our managers heard us, and he decided to present the idea to Rachid [Zeroual, the president of the South Winners] because we are more invested than some guys," she recalls.

"Those who were against recognized the quality of our work"

At the big end-of-year meeting, Rachid Zeroual gives them three weeks to present ideas and models, "a WhatsApp group is created to look for ideas and validate them", and the project is finally tied up for the Christmas meal and approved "by 85% of the members during a vote", according to Rachid Zeroual.

The twenty women gathered around this project were able to take advantage of the Chanot Park, at the same time as the rest of the group was preparing the tifo against PSG, to realize on its side this tifo that represents them. "We were there day and night for six days, doing the tracing, the contours. It's very meticulous, we painted from A to Z, we helped the seamstress, to roll the placemats and then the filling. And there we prepare the tubes to deploy it, there is a lot of stress and apprehension so that it comes out well since it has never been done before, "says Emeline, proud to see that "even those who were against the idea recognized the quality of our work".

"They welcomed me with open arms"

A huge investment, at the height of the proposed show, which seemed unimaginable for Emeline a few months ago, she who was a simple member of the Winners after being initiated to the stadium by her dad. "I had some preconceptions, I told myself that it was not a woman's place to be part of a core of supporters. A little before the 35th birthday, I met several people very invested in the life of the group, and they invited me to come and see how it goes at the local, the preparation of a tifo. They welcomed me with open arms, and I told myself that I could be confident," says Emeline.

Times have changed and the South Winners has more and more members, 30 years after the exclusion of the female sex decided by Depé, the founder of the group. "There have always been women in the South Winners, but there was a time, when we were young, it fucked up the discord between the guys. So Depé had decided to dismiss them, "smiles today Rachid Zeroual, proud of the feminization of his tribune.

Emeline does not see "everything we could hear about the macho side, between ourselves", but rather perceives "a family from which it is very hard to detach", to the point of sharing her passion with her 9-year-old daughter. "In fact, it's more a question of the middle ground, of finding your place and staying there, being there for the right reasons: to support my city, my club, OM. I love what I do, and I pass on these values to my daughter, the good reasons why we are here. And it's not to make the cagole, "she warns.

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