Kylian Mbappe: Why is France forward speaking out on country’s elections?

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Mbappe’s comments were more out of character. Although he has links to the socialist former mayor of his hometown of Bondy, Sylvine Thomassin – who is close friends with his mother, Fayza Lamari – he had never previously given an indication of his political leanings.

The 25-year-old superstar, who signed for Real Madrid shortly before the European Championship began, has long been courted by the French political establishment because of his huge national popularity and confident communication style.

Macron first invited him to a diplomatic lunch at the Elysee Palace in February 2018, when Mbappe was only 19.

More recently, Macron helped persuade Mbappe to stay in France when he was considering leaving Paris St-Germain in 2022.

Macron has also put pressure on Real Madrid to reverse their decision to ban their players – and therefore Mbappe – from competing in the football tournament at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Mbappe attended another dinner at the Elysee Palace in February this year, which was staged in honour of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim. Macron has reportedly been trying to encourage Qatar, which has owned PSG since 2011, to use its broadcasting company BeIn Sports to break a deadlock in negotiations over the rights to televise matches in France’s Ligue 1 championship from next season.

National Rally criticised Mbappe for his comments about the elections. “I don’t expect people who are quite disconnected from reality to be lecturing the people of France,” said the party’s vice-president Sebastien Chenu.


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