When France won the world cup, Africa celebrated. It felt like the cup had come home. Mbappe, Umtiti, Ngolo Kante, Pogba had roots from Cameroon,Mali and Guninea, capped with the darkest shade of black, they were as African as it gets.
Then Comedian Trevor Noah from the daily show fanned the flame.
“Yes. Yes. Africa won the World Cup! Africa won the World Cup!” Noah joked on the July 17 episode of the show. “I get it. I get it. They have to say it’s the French team, but look at those guys — you don’t get that tan by hanging out in the south of France,” Noah said.
French citizens did not find it funny;
They expressed themselves on social media, they accused Trevor Noah of not believing in integration, and some called it reverse racism.
Infact it got so heated that the French ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud, rebuked the comedian in a letter which emphasized that the players were born in France, grew up in France, learnt how to play football in France. He iterated that their color was a reflection of France’s diversity.
He said the mixed color was a reflection of France’s colonialism… He responded that the players can be both African and French, that you don’t have to erase their africanness away…
The argument continued on other social media platforms, but lets fade into Germany who exited the world cup at the group stage
German national player and Arsenal mid-fielder Mesut Ozil quit international football, citing the “racism and Disrespect” he has faced in Germany over his Turkish roots, he was criticized after being photographed with Turkish president Erdogan at a London event in May.
In the statement released Sunday, Ozil said that a section of the German media had “repeatedly” blamed his dual heritage and “a simple picture” — posing with Erdogan — “for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad.”
Ozil’s grandfather emigrated from Turkey to Germany as a laborer years ago. He is the first German national player from an immigrant background to have made it internationally.
He has scored some impressive states For Germany- 92 caps, 23 goals and 40 assists, he was instrumental to winning the world cup in 2014.
But Ozil said his recent treatment made him “no longer want to wear the German national team shirt”. In a lengthy statement posted on social media, he said he did not feel accepted in German society despite paying taxes, donating to good causes there, and being a former World Cup winner.
Many German politicians questioned Ozil ‘s loyalty to turkey who has been referred to as a dictator by human rights groups and the German goverment. Ozil has maintained that his relationship with the Turkish president was had nothing to do with politics, they talked about football
Any where an economic migrant goes, they have to work twice as hard to be fully accepted into the fold
When migrants do great things, they are citizens (Aka spider Man) but otherwise they remain “Migrants”
We cant help but wonder how different the narrative would have been if Germany was able to take the cup back home…and Ozil scored the winning goal.