LFI and PS deputies boycott the Assembly soccer team to protest against the presence of the RN

They had prepared their crampons. But, in the end, they changed their minds. On the eve of the solidarity football game —in support of the fight against cyberbullying that affects children— between the National Assembly football team and a selection of former internationals (Sonny Anderson, Christian Karembeu…), the deputies of France Insoumise decided, according to our information, to boycott the game.

The cause: they protest against the presence, in their team, of players labeled National Rally (Philippe Ballard, Julien Odoul, etc.). For the first time, in fact, the football deputies -including macronistas, LR, socialists…- had accepted representatives of Marine Le Pen’s field into their ranks. The latter were until now excluded from the National Assembly team. “The National Association wanted to make this party, initially dedicated to the service of a good cause, an object of political recovery, with the aim of affirming its supposed “normalization””, justifies LFI in a press release on Tuesday, which also announces that elected officials will fund the association directly. The international context, with Giorgia Meloni’s victory in Italy, is certainly no stranger to this twist. “The lesson of what happened in Italy is that when we trivialize it, we help bring out the extreme right,” summarizes Mathilde Panot, president of the LFI group in the Assembly.

“We had not anticipated that all these RN deputies would be on the soccer team”

This Wednesday, September 28, therefore, we will not see Éric Coquerel, Ugo Bernalicis, David Guiraud, and a few more on the pitch of the Émile Anthoine stadium in Paris, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Questioned last week by Le Parisien – Today in France, the LFI deputy Éric Coquerel, however, confirmed his presence (as central defender, he specified). “We had not anticipated that all these RN deputies would be on the soccer team. We wanted to play, so we said yes, as always, as in the previous term. But the question of our participation arose when we learned that there could be RN deputies”, we now whisper to rebellious France.

“Labels must remain on shorts”

“I regret the instrumentalization and hostage taking of our event. With what right should this or that player be prohibited from participating depending on his match? The labels must remain on the shorts,” reacts Renaissance MP Karl Olive, one of the three captains. A position denied a few hours later by the president of the Renaissance group in the Assembly, Aurore Bergé. She “advises” Majority MPs from playing on the same team as elected RNs, “because it creates a symbol that will turn against us.”

The presence of elected RNs also brought cold sweats from the rest of the left. Initially, one of the three captains of the team, the socialist Marietta Karamanli, had also confirmed her presence at Le Parisien. “I intend to be attentive with my colleagues about the behavior of the players and take care that this participation is not a platform and that no offensive, discriminatory, racist or sexist comments or behaviors are made or made. There will be sanctions as in any team, ”she warned.

But finally, this Tuesday after a meeting in the morning, the PS group in the Assembly did the same with its ally Nupes. “No socialist deputy will participate tomorrow (Wednesday) in the soccer match of the French parliamentary team, announces the group in a press release. (…) This is the first time that the RN has been invited to participate in a match of the French National Assembly team. We will also not participate in the next matches of the XV parliamentary rugby if the RN is present. Socialist and similar deputies reject this trivialization of the extreme right”. Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the Party of the Roses, even adds: “Communalization leads to alliances between the right and the extreme right as in Italy.”

In the RN, deputy Julien Odoul denounces “unfortunate sectarianism” when “the cause is more important, for children who are victims of cyberbullying. We are never surprised with LFI.”

The team’s co-captain, Renaissance MP Karl Olive, laments that “LFI instrumentalizes and takes the game hostage. It will make the Rassemblement national even more talked about”, he believes, when “we had the opportunity to offer a benevolent image of the Assembly”.

This boycott “is stupid”, abounds the other captain, LR Pierre-Henri Dumont. “It’s a charity match” and “LFI didn’t say anything when they played in the parliamentary XV with RN Louis Aliot”, he insists, referring to the rugby team that sometimes brought together the deputy from Seine-Saint-Denis Alexis Corbière and Mr. Aliot, former MP for the Pyrénées-Orientales, now Mayor of Perpignan. The former socialist deputy Gisèle Biémouret co-chaired this XV.

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