Mbappé warns of 'catastrophic' political situation in France as the far right gets closer to power

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — France soccer captain Kylian Mbappé 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 gained strong results — around 33% of the vote nationwide — on Sunday in the first round of a rushed election, leaving Marine Le Pen’s party poised to potentially gain power.

The second round of the legislative elections are on Sunday and Mbappé, 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),” said Mbappé, who was speaking in Hamburg, Germany, the day before France plays Portugal there in the European Championship quarterfinals.

“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.”

Mbappé 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 have been asked regularly about the political situation back home during 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.”

The National Rally is the party with a history of racism and xenophobia.

France's soccer team that won the Euro 2000 title two years after lifting the nation’s first World Cup trophy in Paris was hailed as a model of diversity and unity. The mix of “Black, Blanc, Beur” (Black, white and Arab) players was an echo of the French tricolor flag of blue, white and red.


AP Euro 2024: