Red alert in Saint-Denis. Vexed by the slap of Konya, the world champions have a revenge to take on the Turks, Monday, October 14 at 8:45 pm at the Stade de France, where a tide of visiting fans is expected in a sporting context, security and diplomacy sensitive. On the field, the fight promises to be intense between two nations very close to qualify for the Euro 2020. The Blues will have their ticket in their pocket if they win, but also in case of draw or even defeat if their pursuers stall.
On the pitch, four months after sinking into the fury of Konya (2-0 defeat), the Blues want "Set the record straight", according to forward Olivier Giroud. "It's an opportunity to show another face and in front of our audience to qualify"continues Captain Raphaël Varane.
But Turkey, Coleader of Group H with France, will have the same ambition and wants "Do a very good performance", according to Senol Günes, the Turkish coach. Günes will however be deprived of his captain, Emre Belözoglu, as Deschamps de Lloris, unavailable until 2020. The Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda will be renewed behind a defense where Lucas Hernandez, spared Friday in Iceland, could make his return. Often presented as a "Warrior" by his teammates, he would not be too much on the ground.
However, the extrasportive context parasitic a match made sensitive by the memory of the sulphurous France-Turkey of 2009, on the one hand, and by the diplomatic tensions between Paris and Ankara, on the other hand. The launch on Wednesday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of a military operation against a Kurdish militia in Syria sparked an international outcry. France has denounced a "Unilateral offensive" and suspended its arms sales to Turkey. And in Paris, several demonstrations in support of the Kurds of Syria have already taken place this weekend.
For this game ranked at risk, the prefecture has planned a "General security device to prevent disturbances to public order before, during and after the meeting". At the Stade de France, the security forces were also increased (1,400 against 1,200 usually). "Increased vigilance will be exercised in Saint-Denis, in Seine-Saint-Denis, and in Paris, before, during and after the match in case of rallies", says the prefecture of Paris to Franceinfo. In addition, "Identity checks will be carried out as well as vehicle inspections". "Vigilance will also be needed in public transport"finally emphasizes the prefecture.
Call for cancellation
A French deputy, Jean-Christophe Lagarde (UDI, center right), president of the group of studies on the Kurds in the Assembly, called for the cancellation of the meeting. "We can not decently welcome tomorrow at the Stade de France those who salute the massacre of our Kurdish allies! ", he tweeted Sunday night. Lagarde discusses the military salute achieved by Turkish footballers to celebrate their victory against Albania on Friday, in support of the soldiers engaged in the offensive. An official of UEFA (European Union of Football Associations) said that the European football confederation was going to "Examine" if these military salutes were in accordance with the regulations.
"The geopolitical problems, they are there. That this has consequences? Of course, on the environment of the match. But we will not think of that., reacted Sunday the coach of the Blues, Didier Deschamps. "I do not want these discussions to take precedence over the match, said Sunday the Turkish coach, Senol Günes. We encourage our soldiers, but I am against any form of violence. " At the Stade de France, the attitude of the French authorities will be scrutinized in the official gallery, where should take place the Turkish Minister of Justice and the ambassador of Turkey in Paris, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.
Tens of thousands of Turkish supporters expected
Turkish fans are expected in large numbers. They will be 3,800 in a park visitors sold out, according to the French Federation, and certainly much more elsewhere, among the 78 000 spectators announcedl. "We heard that 40,000 fans will be there (…)I think it will be like a home game », says Cagri Davran, journalist for the Turkish sports daily Fanatik.
There were more than 300,000 Turkish voters registered in France in the legislative elections of November 2015. "It is true that the Turkish fans are moving in numbers, they have a fervor, a passion can be exacerbated", But "We will not count how much they are", retorts Deschamps.
The previous meeting between the two teams on French soil, ten years ago in Lyon, ended in confusion, interrupted a few minutes after throwing projectiles and smoke at Stade Gerland. "I hope they will be in a spirit of brotherhood"said Senol Günes about Turkish fans. "What's happening in Syria is one thing, the match is something else. Although there may be overlaps, provocations, we will try to avoid it. ", tried to reassure the Turkish ambassador Ismail Hakki Musa, interviewed by Agence France-Presse about the possibility of tensions between pro and anti-Kurdish Turkish supporters on the sidelines of the meeting.