Retired Soccer Star Eric Cantona Offers To House Refugees

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images for the NY Cosmos

The retired French footballer, Eric Cantona, has said he is prepared to open his own home to refugees. The former Manchester United favourite also expressed his disappointment at the French government, which he accused of trying to appease Marine Le Pen‘s party, Front National.

Cantona,49, was being interviewed by French newspaper, Le Parisien. Primarily speaking about a play he is in which is directed by his wife, Rachida Brakni (herself a French actress of Algerian origin) – another role in his second career as a serious actor – he readily strayed onto political ground including the current European migrant crisis.

Saying that he wanted French people to take in migrants who need a roof over their heads, Cantona explained:

“We create wars for economic reasons and then people flee their countries because we’ve buggered them up, and we aren’t even able to receive them in our homes.”

Asked whether he is prepared to take refugees into his own home, Cantona said he is, adding: “And it would be nice if everyone was prepared, 65 million French people.”

He did concede that if 65 million French people took migrants in that would mean “a lot of migrants” and said he hoped that many would not arrive.

Straying further into general politics, Cantona, said that having voted for French President François Hollande in 2012, he will not be doing so in 2017. Instead he will be spoiling his ballot paper because “what is happening now is unworthy of left-wing politics.”

“There are elections soon,” he said, “so we’ll say we’re going to cut taxes, after having raised them, that way one makes small moves to the right. You don’t make too many migrants come because 55 per cent of French people oppose that and, as the far right rises, you move to their ground a bit.”

Cantona concluded his political comments saying that “when you have real convictions, you have to defend them.”

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