Mbappe warns of ‘catastrophic’ political situation in France as far-right forces approach power

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — France soccer team captain Kylian Mbappe He warned on Thursday that the political situation was “catastrophic” as the country was on the brink of installing its first far-right government since World War II.

The Rally National performed well in the first round of hastily called elections on Sunday, winning around 33% of the vote nationwide, giving Marine Le Pen’s party the potential to take power.

The second round of parliamentary elections took place on Sunday and Mbappe, one of France’s most famous figures, was asked if he had a message for the nation.

“I think more than ever we need to go (to vote),” Mbappe said, speaking in Hamburg, Germany, a day before France plays Portugal in the Europa League quarter-finals.

“This is an emergency. We cannot let this country fall into the hands of these people. This is an urgent issue. We have seen the results and it is tragic.”

Mbappe had previously made similar comments at Euro 2024, saying “both extremes are knocking on the door of power”.

There was a sense of urgency in his emotions now.

“We really hope that this will change,” he said of the election results. “We hope that people will come together and go to the polls and vote for the right party.”

President Emmanuel Macron called early elections, gambling that the far-right would not win another national election after its defeat by the National Rally in last month’s European elections. The plan backfired, and Le Pen’s rivals are now desperately trying to stop the National Rally from winning a majority in Sunday’s second round of voting.

France players have frequently been asked about the political situation in their home country during Euro 2024 press conferences.

“The alarm bells have sounded,” Ousmane Dembele said, while fellow forward Marcus Thuram added: “The French people need to fight every day to ensure that the national rally does not succeed.”

The National Coalition is a political party with a history of racism and xenophobia.

The French soccer team, which won Euro 2000 two years after lifting the country’s first World Cup trophy in Paris, was hailed as a model of diversity and unity, with its mix of “Braques, Blancs, Boules” (black, white and Arab) players reminiscent of the blue, white and red of the French flag.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

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