In his interview as the latest cover star for Sports Illustrated, France striker Kylian Mbappé notably confirmed that he was considering quitting the French national team in the wake of the Euros, over what he perceived as a lack of support from the FFF in the face of racist abuse he suffered.
Mbappé explains that he had a short meeting with Noël Le Graët after the tournament, in which he missed the decisive penalty in the knockout tie against Switzerland, which was ultimately unproductive. The 23-year-old explains that he argued that he could not play “for people who think I’m a monkey. I’m not gonna play.”
Nevertheless, he says that after discussion with the people around him, he decided that “giving up” was not the right message to be giving out, “because I think I’m an example for everybody. This is the new France… That’s why I didn’t give up on the national team. Because it’s a message to the young generation to say, ‘we are stronger than that'”
Le Graët has also been at odds with Mbappé over the striker’s boycott of sponsorship commitments while on international duty in March and then September, which along with a discussion with the rest of the France team has triggered a review of the FFF’s image rights contract.
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin