France’s Dembélé urges fellow citizens to vote in elections taking place during Euro 2024

PADERBORN, Germany (AP) — Soccer and politics mixed Thursday when France winger Ousmane Dembélé urged people to vote in the national elections suddenly called by President Emmanuel Macron.

“I think the alarm bell has been sounded,” the Paris Saint-Germain star said when asked at the team’s European Championship training camp about the situation at home.

“I think we need to mobilize ourselves to vote, all together,” said Dembélé, noting he saw on TV news broadcasts that only one in two French people planned to take part.

Macron surprised the nation Sunday evening when he called elections for the national assembly in response to a surge in support for his opponents on the far right in European parliamentary elections.

The two rounds of French elections are scheduled June 30 and July 7 — back-to-back Sunday that could bookend Les Bleus games in the round of 16 and quarterfinals of a tournament they are widely predicted to win.

The France team that won the Euro 2000 title two years after lifting the nation’s first World Cup trophy in Paris was hailed as a model of diversity and unity. The mix of “Black, Blanc, Beur” (Black, white and Arab) players was an echo of the French tricolor flag of blue, white and red.

Dembélé said the French soccer federation is putting in place a way for players and officials to vote by proxy while they are in Germany.

France opens its Euro 2024 campaign Monday against Austria. It also faces the Netherlands and Poland in Group D.


AP Euro 2024:

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