Kylian Mbappe has said he almost quit the France national team after receiving racist abuse following his penalty miss at Euro 2020. The world champions were eliminated by Switzerland at the round of 16 stage last June after Mbappe’s spot kick was saved by Yann Sommer during a shootout.
French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet claimed in a newspaper interview released on Sunday that Mbappe was thinking about retiring from international football after the tournament because of the lack of support he received following the crucial penalty miss.
Le Graet said: “I met with him after the Euros, he felt the federation had not defended him after his missed penalty and the criticism on the networks. We met for five minutes in my office. He was angry, he didn’t want to play for the French team any more, which he obviously didn’t mean. You know how it is, he’s a winner, he was very frustrated, like all of us, by the elimination. He’s so media-friendly. He’s a great guy, much more collective than people think.”
However, Mbappe has taken to Twitter to say it was because of the racial abuse he received rather than solely because he wasn’t supported after his miss.
The Paris Saint-Germain star wrote, “Yes finally I explained to him (Le Graet) above all that it was in relation to racism, and NOT to the penalty.
“But he considered that there had been no racism…”
Le Graet has previously said racism in football does not exist. He told BFM Business in September 2020: “When a black player scores a goal, the whole stadium is on its feet. This phenomenon of racism in sport, and in football in particular, does not exist at all or barely exists.”
Mbappe, 23, has been capped 57 times by his country. He was part of France’s World Cup-winning team in 2018.
- The Athletic report