Photo: Reproduction

Formed by immigrants or children of immigrants, the French team broke out, last week, against the country’s extreme right, in the midst of the electoral campaign for the early legislative elections, even though there is political confusion in the blue team’s political ideas. France debuts this Monday (17th) in the European Championship against Austria, in Düsseldorf (Germany).

This Sunday (16), the star of the Blues and world football, Kylian Mbappe, rejected the National Rally (Rassemblement National, in its acronym in French), an extreme right-wing party, by defining the political moment in France as “crucial in history from the country”.

The new Real Madrid star, however, revealed some political innocence by equating the New Popular Front (Nouveau Front Populaire), the coalition of left-wing parties formed to face the RN, with the extreme right.

On the penultimate Sunday (9), French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly upon seeing the list of candidates from his party, Renaissance (Renaissance, in French), obtain less than half the seats won by the neo-fascists in the European elections.

Read also: Macron dissolves National Assembly in France after far-right victory

The bloc formed by Marine Le Pen’s RN had 31.4% of the votes, while the Renascença coalition totaled 14.6% of the votes.

“I hope we make the right choice and I hope we are still proud to wear this shirt on July 7th. I don’t want to represent a country that doesn’t correspond to our values. I believe and hope that we are all on the same page”, said the star.

When asked about the positions of his teammate Marcus Thuram, who this Saturday (15) became the first French team for the Euro Cup to openly criticize RN, Mbappe stated that he shares the same values ​​as Milan’s Internazionale striker.

“I share the same values ​​as Marcus. I spoke about values ​​of diversity, tolerance, respect. Of course I’m with him on this one, and I don’t think he exaggerated,” said Mbappé.

The previous day, the son of the 1998 world champion defender, Lilian Thuram, said that “it is necessary to fight to avoid” a victory for the RN party.

“I think the situation is sad and very serious,” said Thuram during the national team’s press conference, two days before the Bleus debut in the European Championship. “We have to tell everyone to go vote and fight daily to prevent RN from winning,” added the Inter Milan striker.

More timid in their political positions, three other veterans of the French team also made veiled protests against the country’s far right.

This Thursday (13), right-winger Ousmane Dembelé, from Paris Saint-Germain, called on the French to go to the polls for early legislative elections and even agreed with the journalist who had classified the RN as racist.

“As for the situation in France, alarm bells have sounded. I think we need to mobilize to vote. Recently, I looked at the 1pm news and saw that half of the voters hadn’t turned out to vote. I want to tell people: go vote,” said Dembelé.

In the 2024 European elections, abstention in France reached 48.51%, the lowest level since 1994.

The players selected by coach Didier Deschamps and the entire technical staff had the opportunity to vote in the European elections as the French Football Federation (FFF, in its French acronym) organized a proxy voting system.

On Friday (14), veterans and 2018 world champions, Olivier Giroud and Benjamin Pavard made even more veiled, yet disturbing, statements.

“I will be brief, this has no impact on our preparation,” said Milan striker Giroud. “If I have one piece of advice to give, it’s: vote. A 50% abstention rate is not normal. I’m not going to give details about my political leanings or anything, I’m here to talk about football.”

Almost identical comments also made a few minutes earlier by Benjamin Pavard. “I’m not here to judge people, there is the right to vote, everyone should go and vote, young, old, elderly.”

Other athletes, however, tried to escape the controversy. Midfielder Eduardo Camavinga said he had not thought about the European elections; defender Dayot Upamecano opted for the cliché “I prefer to talk about football”; and striker Kingsley Coman said the team was trying to concentrate “and not talk about politics”.

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Read also: Left advances and far right is defeated in the Nordic countries of the European Union

Mbappé’s political innocence

Despite clear statements against the extreme right, which recall the times when football was used as one of the spaces to confront the radical right in France, Mbappé slipped in his speech by making a false equivalence between the RN and the new left bloc.

“Today we see very clearly that the extremes are at the gates of power and we have the opportunity to choose the future of our country”, said the star.

According to a survey published last Saturday by Cluster 17, the National Reunion has 29.5% of voting intentions in the early legislative elections, closely followed by the Nova Frente Popular, with 28.5%.

The bloc supported by French President Emmanuel Macron, Renascença, only emerges as the third electoral force in the election with 18% of voting intentions.

Photo: Reproduction

“Kylian Mbappé is against extremes, against ideas that divide”, said the Frenchman, after being asked by the reporter whether the appeal is above all not to vote for the RN. His speech was, however, criticized by fans who expected a more direct criticism of National Rally, the ultra-right party led by Marine Le Pen.

Mbappé’s choice not to directly attack the ultra-right is reminiscent of Macron himself. The French president often says that he is against radicalism on both sides of the political spectrum in order to win over the moderate fringes of both poles.

“Yes, we talked and he gave me good advice. When you are a national figure, there are rights and duties and we have to assume everything we are as a player and a man”, said Mbappé, in 2022, about his relationship with Macron, confirming contact with him and his influence on his career. that year.

In a World Cup year, the French president worked behind the scenes to keep the star at Paris Saint-Germain, a team from the capital, amid the 2022 elections.

Read also: EU elections have ultra-right with 25% to try to destroy the bloc


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