Generation 2018 and Qatar: The Blues, resistants of the last hour?

The French team takes off for Doha. Before boarding the plane, the “Generation 2018” published a letter to announce their support for “NGOs working for the protection of human rights” . A position that is surely supposed to close the debate around the nonchalant position of the FFF and the Blues on these issues. Only problem: it will be necessary to keep these promises.


The players are finally out of the woods. Since the time that Raphaël Varane and Hugo Lloris half-announced a reaction, even an action, it was feared that the chronological point of no return had been crossed. The context certainly turned out to be far from serene. The contemptuous remarks of Noël Le Graët on the plight of migrant workers had cast a disappointing shadow on the image of France, a nation of human rights. The exit of Hugo Lloris affirming that he would not wear an armband against discrimination, in particular against LGBT people, by ” respect ” for the host country, had on its side disconcerted and disappointed beyond the circle of antiMondial. Even if no one was fooled by the blow of com ‘that constituted this piece of fabric. Worst of all, his justification smelt rancid: “In France, when we welcome foreigners, we want them to follow our rules, our culture. And I will do the same in Qatar. » A phrase that has made the far right and its trolls happy on social networks.

Varane in the lead

We had to catch up. The captain of the Blues had also announced: “Something will be in place. We cannot remain insensitive to these subjects. » This ” something ” is therefore first of all a letter, a common text, normally approved by all the capés of the last two Worlds (2018 and 2022). “In the troubled context of this World Cup, we want, through this collective letter, to recall our commitment to respect for human rights and our refusal of all forms of discrimination. » ” Trouble ” ? The French language remains the homeland of euphemism. To sum up, the endowment fund created by the world champions in Russia, Generation 2018, with the support of the current team, will be at the maneuver of the good national conscience – we are even served a short passage on the beautiful values of the Republic : “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” . Thus, it is explained: “For several weeks, we have heard the alerts of NGOs and associations and we are sensitive to them. Our passion should not be the misfortune of some. After collective reflection, we have decided to support NGOs working for the protection of human rights. »

“We don’t want to talk about it in every interview, we are above all here to play football, our role is not to settle diplomatic or political problems, but we wanted to do somethingtold us Olivier Giroud this Tuesday. It’s an initiative that comes from us, the players, Rapha (Varane) brought it up and put it on our joint group, and everyone followed. It was important. » The NGOs in question, on the other hand, are not mentioned. Is it Amnesty International demanding that FIFA redistribute part of its immense profits to families whose loved ones have died so that the show continues? It should also be noted that the name of the emirate is never mentioned. A wise decision perhaps: the Danes have been denied by FIFA a simple training t-shirt “Human rights for all” .

If there are many problems in terms of violations of human rights or against the planet, no culprits or culprits. The Blues finally recall the primacy of football and their desire to “to give pleasure to our public and to all those who love this game” . This announcement therefore ultimately remains framed within very strict limits of realpolitik, and aims first of all to put out the fire, and close the debate. Arrived late, it has for the moment no concrete continuity. We especially wonder how it will be applied during the competition. Above all, and finally, this letter still does not clear the FFF of its total lack of involvement in this file, like the reaction of Didier Deschamps this Wednesday at the microphone of RTL : “It’s their decision, it’s not me who incited them. The athlete, the footballer, whoever he is, does not have the capacity and the power to solve social problems, everyday problems. I have never banned a player from talking about a subject. »

By Nicolas Kssis-Martov
Comments by Olivier Giroud collected by MB and MR, at Clairefontaine

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