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Kylian Mbappe calls on young people to vote in French election: ‘This is an unprecedented situation’

Kylian Mbappe says he stands for “diversity, tolerance and respect” as he urged young people in France to vote in the upcoming election.

France forward Marcus Thuram yesterday called on citizens to vote and “fight every day” to ensure the National Rally, France’s far-right political party, did not gain power when the country goes to the polls over the next three weeks.

While Mbappe did not go as far as publicly confirming his political allegiance, he said he shared the same values as his team-mate.

The France captain added while his side would not allow their country’s political situation to be a distraction at Euro 2024, he stressed the need to remain connected to domestic matters during the tournament as the French election was “much more important” than their opening group game against Austria.

“I think we’re at a crucial moment in our country’s history,” Mbappe said. “You have to know where things stand and have a sense of priorities. The European Championship has a very important place in our careers, but I think we’re citizens above all, and I don’t think we should be disconnected from the world around us, and even less so when it concerns our country.

“We know that we’re at a very important moment in our country’s history, so this is an unprecedented situation. That’s why I really want to address all the French people, and especially the younger generation. I think we are a generation that can make a difference. Today, we can see that the extremes are at the gates of power and we have the opportunity to choose the future of our country.

“And that’s why I’m calling on all young people to go out and vote, to really realise the importance of the situation. I hope that my voice will carry as much weight as possible, because we need to identify with this country, we need to identify with our values, which are values of diversity, tolerance and respect.”

He continued: “I know there are a lot of young people who say: ‘yes, but one vote isn’t going to change anything’. On the contrary, every vote counts and that’s something we shouldn’t overlook. I really hope we’ll make the right choice and I hope we’ll still be proud to wear this jersey on the seventh (of July).”

Thuram and Mbappe have spoken out ahead of the French election (Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

France president Emmanuel Macron, of the liberal and centrist Renaissance party, called a snap election on June 10 in response to the National Rally’s victory in the European elections. The two-round vote will take place on June 30 and July 7 — the latter date is between the Euro 2024 quarter-finals and semi-finals and less than three weeks before France host the 2024 Olympics.

France players have been asked about the election at every Euro 2024 press conference and the French Football Association (FFF) released a statement on Saturday saying players were free to express their views but calling on the French football team to not be politicised.

France manager Didier Deschamps said his players had “the freedom to say things in their own words, with their own sensitivity”.

Last week, striker Olivier Giroud and defender Benjamin Pavard both stressed the importance of voting without stating their political position, while Thuram spoke out against the National Rally.

“I think the situation is sad, very serious,” he said. “I learned about it (the RN’s victory in the European elections) after the match against Canada, we were all a little shocked in the locker room. We have to tell everyone “go vote, fight every day so that the RN does not pass.”

On Thuram’s comments, Mbappe said: “I share the same values as Marcus. I was talking about values of diversity, tolerance and respect. Of course I’m with him. For me, he hasn’t gone too far and we have what’s called freedom of expression. So I think we’re still in a country where there’s freedom of expression. And he’s given his opinion and I’m with him.”

He continued: “Kylian Mbappe is against extremes, against divisive ideas. We have the opportunity to choose the future of our country, and that’s a task that needs to be emphasised.

“When you see the abstention rate, whether in the countryside, in the suburbs, everywhere. That’s why I’m trying to give a voice to these people of my generation, because that’s what I was like when I was younger, to think that my voice isn’t going to change.

“I don’t want to represent a country that doesn’t correspond to my values, that doesn’t correspond to our values.”

(Top photo: Romain Perrocheau/AFP via Getty Images)

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