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
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
“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.”