Emmanuel Macron urges clubs to make France stars available for Olympics

Kylian Mbappe has previously expressed a desire to feature on home soil at Paris 2024

Harry Latham-Coyle
Tuesday 16 April 2024 14:16 BST
Emmanuel Macron has urged top European clubs to release their French players for a home Olympics
Emmanuel Macron has urged top European clubs to release their French players for a home Olympics (AFP via Getty Images)

French president Emmanuel Macron has urged top European clubs to make their French footballers available for a gold medal bid on home soil at Paris 2024.

France will host the Summer Olympics for the first time in a century this summer, with many of the nation’s sporting stars set to feature.

Antoine Dupont, the best male rugby player in the world, has joined the France sevens set-up ahead of the Games, while rising NBA star Victor Wembanyama is expected to spearhead their men’s basketball medal efforts.

While clubs cannot be forced to release players, Macron is keen for the hosts’ football squad to be as strong as possible.

Kylian Mbappe, currently of Paris Saint-Germain, has previously suggested that appearing at an Olympics would be a “dream”, though a hectic summer that also includes Euro 2024 may mean some are forced to miss out.

“We are going to do everything,” Macron told RMC Sport. “I have confidence in the French and European clubs, if I may say so, if you see what I mean.

“We have [Euro 2024] beforehand, that’s the problem. I think the clubs have to play their part if we want to have a great show.”

Emmanuel Macron hopes Kylian Mbappe will be able to feature at the Olympics (Getty Images)

France will begin their men’s football campaign in Marseille on 24 July, a week and a half after the European Championship final in Germany.

Squads in the men’s competition will be restricted to just three “overage” players, with the rest of the selection all born on or after 1 January 2001.

Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga would qualify as an underage player while teammate Aurelien Tchouameni is also thought to be under consideration.

With Mbappe himself strongly linked with a move to the Spanish capital when his PSG contract ends in the summer, Macron has indicated that he is hopeful that Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be helpful.

“When I was speaking about European clubs, I was speaking about them,” the French president clarified when asked directly about Real Madrid.

“The players need to take it into account in their preparations and their training sessions too because we have the Euros and I hope we’ll be playing until 14 July.

“I hope and I think we will. I haven’t spoken about it with Mbappe but I hope that his club will let him.”

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