One day before the start of Euro 2020, sports betting enthusiasts are already buzzing in DR Congo. In the different areas of the city of Kinshasa and the provinces, the matches are highly anticipated by the many Congolese football fans. The sports betting points of sale are already being congested.
In the streets of Kinshasa, there is certainly no décor that refers to the Euro. Just a few advertisements from the official broadcaster of the competition. The public is still waiting for the big moments of the competition from the round of 16.
Russia vs Belgium, highly anticipated in Kinshasa
When asked about the opening match between Turkey and Italy, Congolese sportsmen and women do not find it very interesting. Their attention is much more focused on the Russia-Belgium match on Saturday 12 June 2021. With the Belgian-Congolese Romelu Lukaku in great shape, the attention will be special in the streets and stands of Kinshasa. For betters, however, the Euro has already started. A visit to the "Place Victoire" in the city of Kinshasa is enough to confirm this. The sports betting areas are full and it will been this way for the entirety of the competition.
"People bet two weeks in advance because the odds are up. On the day of the match the odds are often revised downwards because of last minute news", explains Pascal Okundji.
He is one of the managers of Espace Winner Paris Sportifs in Kinshasa. "I take the case of the friendly match between Spain and Lithuania which had a rating of 1.49. One day before the match, Busquets, the captain of the team, tested positive for Covd-19. As a result, the whole Spanish team was in isolation. It was the U21 team that played. Directly, the odds on this match increase. In short, the odds vary from the pre-match statistics. Many people have already played the Euro 2021 group stage matches," he adds.
In the bars, restaurants and stalls that often receive many fans of the game, everything is still quiet: "At our level, we survey our customers to know the posters that interest them most. This allows us to stock up," says Jeannot Mangili, manager of a joint in Kinshasa. At every major football tournament, his space is taken over by supporters.
For many Congolese sportsmen and women, the European Cup is different from the African Cup of Nations in terms of excitement. Especially before the start of the competition. In the case of the Euro, the temperature rises as the matches progress.