Thuram and Mbappe deliver anti-right wing message to French voters

June 16 – Marcus Thuram, French football star and the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, has urged voters to take a stand against the far right in the French elections.

At a news conference on Saturday, Thuram did not shy away from entering the political debate and went a step further than his teammates Oliver Giroud and Ousmane Dembele by demanding voters take a stand against the far right.

“We need to tell everyone to get out and vote, to fight every day to stop the RN from winning,” said Thuram.

“I hope that everyone shares my opinion. It is not enough to say that you need to go out and vote. We need to explain how we have got to where we are. I don’t think it should be very difficult to talk about. It is the way I have been educated. I know a lot of people follow me on social media and I have an obligation to get certain messages across.”

Last weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron called snap elections after the European elections in which far-right parties gained almost 40% of the vote. “I heard about it after the match against Canada,” said Thuram. “We were all a bit shocked in the dressing room. I think the situation is sad and very serious.”

He expressed his conviction that his views are shared by the other members of the French squad. He explained: “I have no doubt at all that everyone in the France squad thinks the same way as me. I am not here to force anyone to say anything even if it is what they think.”

He added: “Thanks to my father I have enough of an understanding of this situation to be able to talk about it.”

Stressing its neutrality but supporting the appeal to vote, the French Football Federation (FFF) said: “Each of us can express ourselves freely, according to our own convictions and our own sensitivity.”

Thuram’s sentiments were echoed by Kylian Mbappe.

“We know that it is a pivotal moment for French history, this is a never-before-seen event,” Mbappé said through a translator.

“We are a generation that can make a difference, we can see that the extremes are knocking on the door of power and we have the opportunity to shape the future of our country.”

“I share the same values as Marcus. Of course I support him. For me, he hasn’t gone too far. It’s freedom of speech, and I’m on his side.

“We [the France team] are citizens, we cannot be disconnected from the world around us. We know that we are in an important situation for our country, an unprecedented situation. I want to address the French people. The extremes are at the gates of power, we have the opportunity to choose the future of our country.

“I call on all young people to go and vote, to understand the gravity of the situation. I hope that my voice resonates as far as possible. … I hope we will still be proud to wear this jersey on July 7.”

On Monday, France open their Euro 2024 campaign against Austria in Group D in Dusseldorf.

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