A newspaper in Burkina Faso has hailed the French national squad an “African team” due to the high proportion of diverse players.
The comments come from the African nation’s French-language paper Aujourd’hui au Faso, which reads: “Of the 34 players (23 + 11 reservists), there are 23 Africans (20 black and 3 Maghreb [North Africa]), 7 French and 4 people from other origins. In a nutshell, Africa is still competing at this 2018 Russia World Cup via her sons.”
“We can say with a touch of irony, but not without legitimate pride, that ‘African’ France avenged Africa, eliminating Argentina,” the paper said noting that Argentina had knocked out Nigeria in the group stage of the tournament.
Aujourd’hui au Faso was not the only media in the African nation to label France an “African team.” The paper La Pays noted: “Still, Africa does not despair in the world where some now put their hope in the French team, described by many Africans, with a little humour on social networks as the ‘6th African team‘ because of the origins of many French players.”
The paper then took a shot at supporters of the “far-right” saying migrants were, “making France what it is now and will be even more tomorrow”.
In the UK, journalist Richard Jolly made a similar swipe at UKIP supporters writing on Twitter that England’s captain Harry Kane’s father was born in Ireland and several other players come from migrant backgrounds arguing that they represent England, while UKIP does not.
Kane's father was born in Ireland. Dier grew up in Portugal. Sterling was born in Jamaica. Lingard's grandparents came from Saint Vincent. Alli's father is from Nigeria. They represent England. UKIP don't. https://t.co/sjumYusJej
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) July 3, 2018
Despite the jab, many populist anti-mass migration pundits and politicians celebrated England’s win over Colombia on Tuesday such as former Breitbart London editor in chief Raheem Kassam and Dutch Firebrand politician Geert Wilders who congratulated the England squad for winning a historic penalty shootout.
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) July 3, 2018