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Shock as family of young Portugal fan demands €50,000 for celebratory visit

It all began so well. Eleven-year-old Portugal fan Mathis – French, but Portuguese on his mother’s side – shot to internet fame after he was seen consoling a devastated French fan after the Euro 2016 final (click here).

His heartwarming ‘sportsmanship’ saw reports that he, and the French fan, were to be invited to Portugal as a kind of extension of the bonhomie radiated by Mathis’ chivalry and sense of fair-play. But now, just a few weeks on, the euphoria has evaporated with reports that Mathis’ family are “demanding” €50,000 from Turismo de Portugal for the privilege of the youngster paying his mother’s homeland a visit.

Correio da Manhã spends as little on the story as possible, simply saying that the demand has been made, and that Turismo de Portugal has no intention of paying.

A spokesperson for the family has confirmed however that there is an “intermediary negotiating the arrival of the child”, thus we wait to see if Mathis does come eventually to the country whose football team he supports despite the fact that he has never been here.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com