“From Nantes to Toulouse, it’s a red card for Macron!” Ahead of the Coupe de France soccer final at the Stade de France on Saturday, dozens of union activists distributed enough whistles for the president’s pension reform to supporters of both teams.
Activists serving the sports complex harassed commuters with well-rehearsed chants, strings of red whistles around their necks, as they exited metro and RER stations.
“One whistle for Macron, one!” Jonathan chants in a barking tone. “We have contributed, we have the right to rest this evening!”, he announced with a cheerful air, handing out plastic whistles and flyers with the slogan “Red card to retire at 64” to commuters leaving the RER station.
With this initiative, the union, which still stands against the recently enacted pension reform, wanted to use the head of state’s visit to the État de France to encourage the audience to question him. of competition.
As they stormed towards the stadium, most of the supporters cheered and grabbed the card and whistle. Those with no sense of humor: “Red card for Macron!” When a chanting fan called him that, a Nantes supporter replied “Yellow card, on the contrary”, proudly displaying his jersey in FC colours. Nantes.
For Nantes’ young supporter, it was necessary to “separate politics and football”.
But overall, “it’s going well, people agree with us,” says Jonathan, a 37-year-old regional government employee and FSU activist.
For the song “Yellow Underpants”.
“I also had negative reactions, one man replied to me ‘Green card for Macron'”, he admits. Instead, “some people take selfies with red cards,” laughs the thirty-year-old.
As a flamboyant crowd of Toulouse supporters, wearing purple scarves, left the station, unionists chanted “Macron, resign!” shouted, or grew emboldened to sing “The Yellow Vests,” which sang “Even if the king doesn’t like it, we’re here!”
That’s because Laurent Núñez, the chief of police in Paris, tried on Friday to ban the distribution of leaflets and whistles around the stadium, saying he feared it would disturb public order.
Hours before kick-off, administrative justice proved him wrong: it suspended his injunction, deeming it a “serious and blatantly illegal attack on the freedom to demonstrate”.
While approving all union action, the administrative court did not challenge the ban on whistles inside the stadium, which falls under French football federation regulations.
Indeed, after passing the entrance, “we collect all the whistles”, slips a security manager. Red cards too: Nantes’ young supporter, who tried to distribute a bundle in the stands, had them confiscated. “I have instructions,” commented the stewardess. “I’m like you, I’m against retiring at 64, but I’m doing my job”.
Whatever happens, in the 49th minute, “even without the whistle, you can make noise,” says Marco, a 23-year-old engineer who turned out to support Toulouse. Her partner Emily, 24, said: “We have the right to at least blow the whistle on a president who doesn’t listen to his people”.
Macron welcomed the players at the Stade de France
Recall that Emmanuel Macron greeted the players of Nantes and Toulouse in the corridors of the Stade de France, not on the front lawn, minutes before the start of the French soccer cup final on Saturday evening. , according to broadcasters’ images.
Against a backdrop of communal tension and high security alert, the President shook hands with all the players in the final, a quarter of an hour before the 9:00pm kick-off.
Accompanied by the Interim President of the French Football Federation (FFF), Philippe Diallo, the Head of State addressed a few words to the actors of the meeting.
“Good ending to you”, “Try to enjoy it too”, “Good match” he started. “We are with you wholeheartedly,” gushed FC Nantes Valdemar Guita.
In recent years, Emmanuel Macron used to come to greet the players on the pitch, but the protocol changed for this edition, while, as presented above, several unions distributed red cards and whistles to the spectators around the stadium to demonstrate their rejection. Pension reform.
Although the whistle is part of a certain folklore in the Stade de France, the president has always respected the tradition of saluting the players he reinstated (in 2017), so he greets the players before they enter the field. Bull”, explained the entourage of the head of state earlier on Saturday.
The President must also return the trophy to the stand at the end of the match and not from the grass, as has been the practice for three years and the Covid-19 crisis.
Emmanuel Macron’s entourage also condemned “the desire of some political and union leaders to organize an event aimed at diverting the attention of the evening from the players, the competition, the trophy, the sportsmanship and the festivity but also from the political fight”.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”