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Men’s football Mbappe warns of ‘catastrophic’ political situation in France

FRANCE captain Kylian Mbappe warned on Thursday his country is in a “catastrophic” political situation as it lurches closer to a first far-right government since World War II.

The National Rally and its allies gained strong results — around 33 per cent of the vote nationwide — on Sunday in the first round of a rushed election, leaving Marine Le Pen’s party, one with a history of racism and xenophobia, poised to potentially gain power.

The second round of the legislative elections are on Sunday and Mbappe, one of the most high-profile people in France, was asked if he had a message to the nation.

“I think now, more than ever, you need to get [out to vote].

“It is an urgent juncture. We cannot let our country fall into the hands of these people. It is pressing — we saw the results, it is catastrophic.”

Mbappe made a similar call earlier at Euro 2024, when he said “the extremes are knocking on the door of power.”

Now, there was a sense of urgency in his sentiments.

“We really hope this is going to change,” he said of the election results, “that everyone is going to rally together to go and vote, and vote for the right party.”

President Emmanuel Macron called the snap election after a defeat at the hands of the National Rally in European Parliament elections last month, gambling that the far-right would not repeat its success in a domestic ballot. The plan backfired and Le Pen’s rivals are now desperately trying to prevent the National Rally winning an outright majority in Sunday’s second round.

France’s players, many of whom have immigrant backgrounds, have been asked regularly about the political situation back home in news conferences at Euro 2024.

Ousmane Dembele said “the alarm bell has been sounded” and fellow forward Marcus Thuram went further by saying French people “need to fight daily so that … the National Rally does not succeed.”

Jules Kounde said he was “disappointed to see the direction our country is taking” after results from the first round were revealed.

“It isn’t over yet,” Kounde said, speaking at the European Championship. “It is very important so that the extreme right-wing party … doesn’t come in.”

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