Venezuela’s president: Africa won World Cup for France

President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro says Africa won the FIFA World Cup for France, a fact that should motivate Europe to end discrimination against immigrants.

Mr. Maduro made the remarks in the capital, Caracas, where the state broadcaster quoted him as saying he hoped European countries got the message.

“The French team won, although it looked like an African team. Actually, Africa won – the African immigrants who have arrived in France. I hope Europe receives that message,” the president said.

“No more racism in Europe against the African people, no more discrimination against immigrants.”

France beat Croatia 4-2 to lift their second ever FIFA World Cup trophy, ten years after their first win.

Les Bleus were one of the most multiracial squads in the competition, with 15 out of 23 players tracing their heritage back to Africa, including Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappé and N’Golo Kante.

Kante – born to Malian parents – would have missed the celebrations if he had accepted a request from Malian football officials to pledge his allegiance to the West African side and feature for them in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.