Why this story matters:
While no African countries succeded in accessing the quarter-final of this football World Cup in Russia, some African countries consider France to be their own team, in a manner of speaking.
Just look at the French team line-up: young new French superstar Kylian Mbappé's parents are from Algeria and Cameroon, Paul Pogba has Guinean origins, Samuel Umtiti (who scored against Belgium) was born in Cameroon, Blaise Matuidi has family roots in Angola and the new favorite face of the French team, N'Golo Kante, has Malian origins.
Much like with the Belgian and English teams, this diversity was noted and celebrated in the media.
Could this be a sign that racial tensions are healing in France?
Even if this young team is seducing the French, everyone is careful not to declare the battle over too soon. It has been twenty years since a "black-white-Arab" team won the World Cup for France, and many observers have since declared that the victory did little to lessen everyday racism.
Nevertheless, it is refreshing that in 2018, this World Cup isn't just showcasing diversity, but also acceptance of cultural diversity. With every French citizen dreaming of bringing the World Cup home, France seems to be putting much stock into its motto of "liberty, brotherhood and equality", at least for now.
Let's see how long this lasts.
Details from the story:
- On Sunday July 15, France will play in the final of the Football World Cup.
- For the 2018 edition in Russia, no African country reached the quarter-final.
- On social media, many people are considering France as the 6th African team of the World Cup.
- Many players have African roots. A few examples: the young new superstar Kylian Mbappé's parents are from Algeria and Cameroon, Paul Pogba has Guinean origins, Samuel Umtiti (who scored against Belgium) is born in Cameroon, Blaise Matuidi has family roots in Angola and the other favorite face of the French team, N'Golo Kante, has Malian origins.