France’s Thuram urges fellow citizens ‘to fight daily’ to prevent far right from taking power

PADERBORN, Germany (AP) — France forward Marcus Thuram has urged his fellow citizens “to fight daily” to prevent the surging nationalist far right from taking power in upcoming snap parliamentary elections in his country.

Thuram spoke during a news conference at the European Championship in Germany on Saturday, two days after teammate Ousmane Dembélé implored people to vote in the elections that were suddenly called by President Emmanuel Macron.

“I think the situation is sad. It’s very serious,” Thuram said. “I learned about it after (Sunday’s friendly) match against Canada. We were all shocked in the dressing room.

“It’s the sad reality of our society today … As Ousmane said, we must tell everyone to go and vote. We all need to fight daily so that this doesn’t happen and that the National Rally (party) does not succeed.”

Macron surprised the nation Sunday evening when he called elections for the national assembly after Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration National Rally made historic gains in the European Parliament elections.

Protests were taking place in Paris and across France on Saturday amid fears that the elections will produce France’s first far-right government since World War II.

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

“I hope that everyone shares my opinion in the France team,” Thuram said. “I understand that some players can come here and just say people should vote, but I don’t think that’s enough, you have to also explain how we got here and the seriousness of the situation.

“There is no doubt in my mind that everyone thinks like me in the France squad.”

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


AP Euro 2024:

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