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« Blogging among Africans: Is a Revolution Really at Hand? | Main | Forza Italia after All... »

July 09, 2006

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From the Seattle Times

The French national team had to confront the issue of its racial mix when the former French presidential candidate from the far-right National Front party, Jean-Marie Le Pen, told the daily sport newspaper L'Equipe that "perhaps the coach went overboard on the proportion of colored players."

"The French don't feel totally represented, which surely explains why the crowds are not as supportive as eight years ago," when France won the World Cup, he said. The rallying cry of the '98 team was "black, blanc, beur" (black, white, Arab), to celebrate its broad racial mix.

"Hurrah for France — not the one he wants, the real one!" responded Lilian Thuram, 34, a black member of the national team from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

"Mr. Le Pen is not aware that there are black, blond and brown French people," he told L'Equipe. "It's like looking at the U.S. basketball team and being shocked that there are black people in the U.S.A."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/soccer/2003114875_francecup08.html

manga che

Roberto Calderoli, Italian Deputy Senate Speaker, on Italy's Victory over France:

"A team which fielded Lombards, Campanians, Venetians and Calabrians won against a team which sacrificed its identity for results by fielding blacks, Muslims and Communists."

Retort by French ambassador Yves Aubin de La Messuziere:

"France is proud of a team whose members are all its sons, whatever their origins, religions or beliefs... and who all bear witness to our motto of liberty, equality and fraternity"

http://ansa.it/main/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2006-07-11_1114278.html

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