It has been a huge consolation for Africans, knowing that some France international footballers who played major roles in the team’s successful World Cup campaign were of African descent, after all.
Image: Trevor Noah
However, South Africa’s Trevor Noah took the fall when he claimed on the Daily Show that credit for France’s victory at Russia 2018 should go to the “United Club of Africa.”
Trevor’s candid joke which excited netizens around the world was, unexpectedly, an offensive one for Gerard Araud, the French Ambassador to the United States of America.
Araud was angered not only by Trevor’s discrimination among Les Blues, but the “thoughtless” decision to credit Africa for France’s World Cup victory.
‘I have gotten into a little bit of trouble with the French government,’ Trevor noted.
‘So, France won the World Cup and, on the show, we celebrated that and I made this little joke where I said Africa won the World Cup and I was shocked at how angry a lot of French people got.’
In his response to the “imaginary” African Union football team, Araud wrote the comedian a letter expressing his disappointment and disapproval.
‘I watched with great attention your July 17th show where you spoke at the victory of the French team,’ the French Ambassador started.
‘I heard your words about an African victory, nothing could be less true.’
He went further with some explanations: ‘As many of the players have already stated themselves, their parents might have come from another country, but a great majority of them all but two were born in France.
‘By calling them an African team it means you are denying their Frenchness…,’ part of the letter read.
Trevor got the missing clarifications from Araud but had one more problem with France – not about the World Cup. He wondered why the French Ambassador could not recognize the players as being French and African at the same time.
‘Here is what vexes me to be honest,’ Trevor explained.
‘When I read stories from Africa and watch what politicians say especially in France about African migrants, when they are unemployed, commit a crime or considered unsavory it’s the African immigrants. But when their children go on to provide a World Cup victory for France you should only refer to them as French.’
He continued, ‘So, I will continue to praise them for being African because I believe that they are of Africa, their parents are from Africa and they can be French at the same time. And if French people say that they can’t be both then I think they are the ones who have a problem and not me.’
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 19, 2018