PARIS: Paris St. Germain coach Christophe Galtier and striker Kylian Mbappe faced backlash on Tuesday (September 6) for answering a question about why the team took a private jet for a short trip to a game in Nantes over the weekend had, had laughed at.
“Are you serious about answering like that???” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted. “Wake up boys???”
Questioned about PSG’s jet trip to Nantes at a press conference on Monday, Galtier and Mbappe looked at each other and the world champion burst out laughing as his coach replied with a joke.
“This morning we talked about it with the company that organizes our trips and we are looking into whether we can travel on sand yachts,” Galtier said. When asked for his opinion on the matter, Mbappe said he had none.
A video of her comments immediately went viral, sparking angry reactions from social media users, environmentalists and ministers.
Photoshopping memes of Mbappe and Galtier on sandy yachts have been seen on social media and the controversy occupied the top three topics on Twitter in France on Tuesday.
“I love Mbappe, we can all giggle at the worst possible moment, and it really was the worst possible moment,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told BFM TV on Tuesday.
“But we all need to take climate change seriously,” he said, adding that Galtier’s irony was “misplaced.”
PSG could not immediately be reached for comment.
Nantes is about two hours from Paris by high-speed train.
The use of private jets has been a much-discussed issue both in France and globally this summer, with social media users tracking and criticizing their use amid a series of heatwaves, droughts and floods driven by climate change.
President Emmanuel Macron told a press conference on Monday that “everyone has to do their part” to fight climate change.