Rugby’s spot in the limelight at a home World Cup comes with divisive attention from all sides of the political spectrum
Even when he’s not playing, all eyes are on Antoine Dupont. With the France captain seemingly closing in on a freakishly rapid return to action after fracturing his cheekbone, the hosts’ hopes for World Cup glory on home soil appear to be back on track. Les Bleus’ star player has inevitably been the face of the competition, his growing renown attracting media attention from all sectors – some of it, though, has been very much unwelcome.
After the opening-night win over New Zealand, the far-right weekly magazine Valeurs Actuelles – which notably backed Éric Zemmour’s presidential bid last year – ran a rugby-focused issue: “La France Rugby”. The front page featured Dupont and actor Jean Dujardin, who starred in the opening ceremony, and read: “Well-behaved supporters, patriot players, exemplary values: the recipe for a well-rooted sport that’s a model to society.”
Raphaël Jucobin is a French rugby and football writer
Written by Raphaël Jucobin in Paris
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/sep/27/far-right-france-rugby-world-cup under the title “‘It’s fertile ground’: far right tries to muscle in on France’s World Cup | Raphaël Jucobin”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.