Trevor Noah, the host of The Daily Show, received a letter from France’s ambassador to the United States after suggesting the French national team was African.
Non, said the ambassador, the France national team is French.
It’s also African, said Noah, who is African.
Noah’s response to the ambassador is a lesson in context. Both statements can be true. The French national team can be both French and African.
Both Noah and the French ambassador make good points. But better to listen to the players themselves on this subject rather than Trevor Noah or the ambassador. Noah should invite Pogba and Kante on his show. Kante is shy and reserved, but Pogba is the opposite and they would have a great discussion. He could also invite Thierry Henry and even his own namesake, the great French tennis player Yannick Noah, who has roots in Cameroon. Their views would be very much worth hearing. I think that if Noah talked to a wide cross section of French people they would express a view more similar to that of the ambassador. Germany has players in its team with roots in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Poland, Turkey, Spain and Jordan. Nobody calls them anything but Germans(except maybe when they pose for controversial pictures with the Turkish president). Same for the Belgian team. And Brazil is historically the one team not actually from Africa which has always had the greatest African influence. I believe that one day in the not-too-distant future a team from Africa will be playing in a World Cup Final and maybe win it. If Croatia can get there then why not Ghana, Senegal or Nigeria?