“Africa won the World Cup!” exclaimed Trevor Noah, the host of the satirical nightly news series, The Daily Show, on Tuesday. The joke shocked the French Ambassador, Gerard Araud, who responded to the comedian in a letter.
“A great majority of the players (all but two out of 23) were born in France”, wrote the Ambassador. “They were educated in France; they learn how to play soccer in France; they are French citizens.” In stating that the team is African, argues Araud, Noah negates their “Frenchness” and legitimizes “the ideology which claims whiteness as the only definition of being French.”
— French Embassy U.S. (@franceintheus) 18 juillet 2018
Trevor Noah, a South African citizen, quickly rebutted the Ambassador’s assertion. “I love those players, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté,” he replied in a video segment released on Wednesday. “I love how African they are and how French they are […] Why can’t they be both? […] In America, people can still celebrate their identity in their Americanness.”
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) 19 juillet 2018