Stéphane Ravier, Senator for National Rally from the Bouches-du-Rhône, criticized the presence of many Algerian flags in the streets of France after Algeria’s victory in the CAN, the Coupe d’Afrique des Nations 2019 semi-final.
“I, as mayor of Marseille, I would have used a bylaw to prohibit the [Algerian] flags in the streets of the city.
Ravier deemed the act as a provocation from the Arab supporters.
“It is a provocation […] The French who love France and who support the national team only support this jersey and brandish only the French flag.
“What I found yesterday was that there was only the Algerian flag, and at no time was there a French flag,” he pointed out.
The Senator was also taken aback by the absence of the French flag.
Although the match was between Algeria and Nigeria, he said that it was only fitting to see French flags in the hands of “these Algerians or the French of Algerian origin”.
“One really felt during this ongoing demonstration, that their attachment lies rather on the side of Algeria than on the side of France,” he said.
“At the end of sports events that should be a moment of celebration, we see that it is not joy that gets the upper hand but violence, all exacerbated by a national feeling that is not ours,” concluded Ravier.
The Senator who is also a Marseille city councilor urged Mayor LR Jean-Claude Gaudin to ban the Algerian flag in the streets of the port city three days before the final of the African Cup of Nations (CAN).
“I still say that the violence is just starting and are as intolerable today as yesterday. These demonstrations by thousands of Algerians or French nationals of Algerian origin, create disturbances to public order exacerbated by these brandished flags.”
“I believe that these brandished flags are part of the excitement and thereby increase the risk of disorderly public order. It is in this context that I proposed to the mayor of Marseille to ban it.”