France captain calls for votes against National Rally; party leader rejects “moral lessons”

The leader of the French right-wing party RN (National Rally), Marine Le Pen, criticized the player Kylian Mbappé, captain of the French national football team. In an interview with CNN Internationalstated that, despite the attacker being the son of immigrants, he “does not represent French people with an immigration background” for being a millionaire.

Le Pen said France was tired of “receive moral lessons and instructions on how to vote” of public figures, including celebrities who, according to her, are far removed from the reality of most French people.

Criticism came after Mbappé encouraged voters to “choose the right side” in Sunday’s (7.Jul) elections for the National Assembly, referring to the “catastrophic results” of the 1st round that favored RN. Mbappé emphasized the “urgency” to vote to prevent the country from falling into the hands of “far right”.

The relationship between football and politics in France has been complex, particularly on issues of immigration and national identity. Le Pen has expressed controversial views on the French national team, questioning the loyalty of some players because of their origins. In 2010, she said she did not recognise herself “in the French football team”criticizing athletes who, according to her, “have another nationality in their hearts”.

The RN’s stance on immigration and national identity has been a central focus of its political campaigns. Like Le Pen, Jordan Bardella, the front-runner to become prime minister if the National Rally wins a majority in parliament in Sunday’s election, has built his platform on playing on the fears of French conservatives.


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