PARIS (AP) — French lawmakers and government ministers criticized the coach of Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday after he criticized the team’s chartered flights during a national campaign to save energy. Removed concerns about use.
When asked at a press conference on Monday whether PSG would consider using environmentally friendly trains instead of flying to games, coach Christophe Gaultier quipped that it would be to transport millionaire players instead. Stop using cell power.
Gaultier initially laughed at the question, shaking his head and blowing his nose, and star striker Kylian Mbappe burst out laughing.
After composing himself, Gaultier said: “I thought I would get this question. To be very honest with you, this morning we spoke with the company that organizes our tours, and we are trying to see if we You can travel in a sand barge.”
Their sarcastic response created a media storm in France.
A string of politicians reacted angrily, with French sports minister Amelie Odia-Castro responding in a tweet: “Mr. Gaultier, we are used to more relevant and responsible answers from you – shall we talk about this?”
Gaultier admitted after PSG’s 2-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday that his joke was in bad taste. But he strongly rejected claims that the French club are unconcerned about climate issues and recalled a recent road trip to Lille that lasted 2 hours, 45 minutes.
“I have players who care a lot about climate. We are aware of climate issues,” he said.
Consumers have been urged by the government to cut back on fossil fuel use, both to combat climate change and to avoid feared shortages amid tensions with supplier Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. , Gaultier and Mbappe’s apparent lack of concern has led to accusations that they are out of touch.
“No, how are you going to answer???? Guys, are you going to wake up???” Paris Mayor Ann Hidalgo tweeted.
Ecologist legislator Francesca Pasquini Mbappe invited the National Assembly to “teach you about climate issues, with your team.”
“Your coach’s ‘joke’ doesn’t raise many laughs!” she tweeted.
Even the French Prime Minister weighed in on this. “It’s important that they understand the world we live in, that there is a climate crisis.” Elizabeth Bourne said.
The debate over PSG’s use of short-haul flights began when executives of France’s high-speed rail network asked the club to fly their players on the short hop from Paris to Nantes last weekend.
Alain Krakovich, director of French rail company TGV-Intercity services, noted that the network’s high-speed trains can travel nearly 380 kilometers (240 miles) west of the city in just two hours. He tweeted back a video apparently posted by the PSG player of team members on their flight to the Ligue 1 game on Saturday night. Paris beat Nantes 3-0.
Addressing PSG, Kraković wrote: “I am updating our proposal for the TGV to suit your specific needs.”
In response to questions from The Associated Press, PSG said there were no late-night TGV trains that would have returned to Paris after the match, which had forced the team to spend the night in Nantes.
The club said the team increased its use of buses for short trips.