- The French government has been given a reply after criticising a TV host, Trevor Noah, for saying Africa won the 2018 World Cup
- Noah, a host of "The Daily Show, reacted to the criticism by defending his comments on Wednesday, July 18
- He said the players are of African descent and their Africanness should not be taken away from them
Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show" has reacted to criticism by French ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud, who reacted to the TV host's description of French team as Africans after winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Just after France beat Croatia 4:2 to win the World Cup on Sunday, July 15, Noah celebrated the team and jokingly said that Africa had won the world cup, Huffington Post reports.
NAIJ.com notes that the TV host jokingly said: “Africa won the World Cup! Africa won the World Cup!” He added that he knew the team was French, but “you don’t get that tan hanging out in the South of France.”
The ambassador wrote a critical letter to Noah, which the TV host read to the studio audience on Wednesday, July 18 during a break.
Araud letter reads in part: "Sir, I watch with great attention your July 17 show, when you spoke of the victory of the French team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup final which took place last Sunday. I heard your words about an African victory.
"Nothing could be less true. As many of the players have already stated themselves, their parents may have come from another country, but a great majority of them, all but two out of 23 were born in France. They were educated in France, they learned to play soccer in France, they are French citizens.
"They are proud of their country, France. The rich and various backgrounds of these players is a reflection of France's diversity"
Reacting to the ambassador's claim of France's diversity, Noah said it's a reflection of France's colonialism.
Noah said: "They (players) all have something in common. All of the players, if you trace their lineage... How did you guys become French? How did your family start speaking French?"
He said that because the players are of African descent, they get cheated of their Frenchness by their White co-citizens.
The TV host said: "They go [sic] you are not French, you are an African, go back to where you came from. They use that as a line of attack.
"Black people all over the world were celebrating the Africanness of the French players, not in a negative way but rather in a positive way. This is what I find weird in this argument, is that people go [sic] that they are not Africans, they are French. Then I'm like, why can't they be both?
"Why is that duality only afforded to a select group of people? Why can't they be Africans? What they are arguing here, is in order to be French, you have to erase everything that is African?"
He stated that he vehemently disagreed with the argument, adding that he loved the players and how they played.
Noah added: "I love those players, and I love how African they are and how French they are. I don't take their Frenchness away. I also don't think you need to take their Africanness away. That is what I love about America - America is not a perfect country, but what I love about this place is that people can still celebrate their identity in their Americanness.
"Here is why it vexes me to be honest, when I read a story about African, when I watch what politicians say, especially in France, about African migrants, when they are unemployed, when they commit a crime, or when they are considered unsavoury, it's the African immigrants. When the children go on to provide a World Cup victory for France, we should only refer to them as France."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that France emerged champions of world again as they recorded a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the Russia 2018 World Cup final.
It was an entertaining fixture played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in front of the 50,000 capacity.
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