The joke did not pass. PSG coach Christophe Galtier sparked a controversy on Monday August 5 at a press conference. Asked about his team’s air travel, the coach explained that the club was thinking about moving “in a yacht” in the future. As the climate emergency has become a hot topic and private jet flights by the wealthy are dividing the political class, Christophe Galtier’s response has drawn outraged reactions. Franceinfo looks back on this outing in four acts.
1The director of TGV-Intercités accuses PSG of sulking the train
It all starts with a video of the Parisian milieu published on social networks by the Parisian milieu, Marco Verratti, on the PSG plane. We see the players, relaxed, during a flight between Paris and Nantes, Saturday, for the 6th day of Ligue 1. The director of TGV-Intercités, Alain Krakovitch, bounces back. “Paris-Nantes is in less than two hours by TGV, I re-re-renew our proposal for a TGV offer adapted to your specific needs, for our common interests: safety, speed, services and eco-mobility”he suggests.
Paris-Nantes is less than 2 hours by @TGVINOUI. @PSG_insideI re-re-renew our offer proposal #TGV adapted to your specific needs, for our common interests: security, speed, services and eco-mobility https://t.co/FJCW6M7Mwe
— Alain Krakovitch (@alainkrakovitch) September 4, 2022
2Kylian Mbappé and Christophe Galtier are ironic at a press conference
Monday evening, the star striker of the team and his coach appear in front of the press to discuss the Champions League match against Juventus Turin. They are questioned about Alain Krakovitch’s message. Kylian Mbappé and Christophe Galtier exchange a look, the striker bursts out laughing when the technician tries to contain himself. He answers : “Excuse me, I suspected that we were going to have this question, to be very honest with you, this morning, we spoke with the company that organizes our trips. We are in the process of seeing if we can not move around in a sand yacht. That’s it.” Relaunched on what he thinks of the use of private jets, the attacker replies: “Me, I don’t think anything”.
The contempt of PSG coach Christophe Galtier
And the long laugh of @KMbappe
— Paul Larrouturou (@PaulLarrouturou) September 5, 2022
3PSG is annoyed by the joke of its coach
According to information from the sports department of Radio France, the sarcasm of Christophe Galtier annoys within the Parisian club, especially since the coach had been warned that a question would undoubtedly be asked to him on this subject.
Monday evening, the PSG holds a completely different speech, affirming that it negotiates since “several months” with the SNCF to ensure certain journeys. “It’s a subject that we take very seriously.. We have about 25 away games per season.” The club adds that it is, however, faced with “logistical and security barriers”. “We study the best travel opportunity for each trip through numerous criteria (cost, travel time, security, public order, time of day, match venue, stadium accessibility and environmental protection).”
The Parisian affirms that the SNCF never won the bet for three reasons: the Parisian stations would not be easily enough accessible, the security criteria would not be met and the return trip at night not always possible. PSG also recalls having used a bus to get around Lille recently, specifying that this means of transport was “chosen for short distance towns”, reminds the club to Radio France.
4 Political and sports personalities are indignant
The exit of the PSG coach immediately reacted. The Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castera, takes it from Monday evening. “You have accustomed us to more relevant and more responsible answers – we talk about it?”she wrote on Twitter, calling on PSG and the Minister Delegate for Transport, Clément Beaune.
— Amelie Oudea-Castera (@AOC1978) September 5, 2022
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, adds. “No, but it’s okay to answer stuff like that ???? We wake up guys ???”, writes the mayor of Paris on Twitter, by calling on his deputies in charge of sport, urban planning and the transformation of public space and mobility.
Bixente Lizarazu, football consultant for franceinfo, also regrets the reactions of Christophe Galtier and his player. “Of course he is wrong, this joke is clumsy, Mbappé’s laughs too. Football clubs and footballers are not outside the system.”
“We ask everyone to make efforts in terms of the environment, we must also ask footballers.”Bixente Lizarazu, football consultant
On France Inter, climatologist Valérie Masson-Delmotte goes further. For this member of the High Council for the Climate, a player like Kylian Mbappé could, on the contrary, be an ambassador for the climate cause. “The words he may have and the gestures he will have will have an influence far greater than anything scientists can say or do because he makes people dream, he inspires many people”she believes. “And there are plenty of scientists who would be delighted to talk to footballers at PSG and elsewhere to encourage their actions and share knowledge”she adds.