The French renewed their confidence in Emmanuel Macron for a second term on Sunday, April 24. Over the next five years, France will be at the center of international sporting events, including hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris and the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Never has a French president covered so many sporting events of this magnitude. Behind the prestige and influence of such gatherings, President Macron must not forget the big national issues, such as the thorny issue of violence in football stadiums or better integration of women in all branches of French sport. Overview of current and future projects.
Paris 2024 and France 2023: the goal to shine at home
Emmanuel Macron has made the success of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris his goal. When he received the French medalists who had returned from Tokyo in September 2021, the President of the Republic acknowledged that the results were not “exactly what we expected”† With 33 medals won, nine fewer than in Rio four years earlier, the French team has positioned itself below usual standards.
“We have to do a lot more, because these are our Games, we are expected at home”, said Emmanuel Macron, who set the goal of integrating the world’s top 5 by the end of the Olympics. For this, he promised that the state would support French athletes, insisting on the current philosophy of “focus our efforts on high-potential disciplines” of medals.
At the forefront, the National Sports Agency (ANS) has the mission to provide sports federations with the necessary support – financial, structural, organizational – to win medals in Paris. In particular, since September 2021, France has launched a major operation to recruit foreign coaches, which has made it possible to search skills beyond our borders when the needs of the federations demanded it. The requirement is also the same for 2023, as France will host the Men’s Rugby World Cup, a year and a half after France’s XV won its first Grand Slam in twelve years. A first chance to shine for the Games.
Make France a global esports scene
President Macron has repeatedly shown his commitment to the digital sector and innovation in the broad sense. As a candidate, Emmanuel Macron has focused on esports in recent days. “We are one of the great nations of video games, recognized worldwide for the richness of its works, the quality of its training and the dynamism of its industry”, he estimated in an interview published April 24 with our colleagues at The Big Whale, a site specializing in the news of new web technologies.
According to the head of state, France should take advantage of the Paris Games to position itself in esports, †another field of French excellence”† †It’s up to us to take advantage of this to make the link between the Olympiads of the two worlds by hosting the biggest sporting events in the world that year: a CS:GO major, the Worlds of League of Legends and The International of Dota 2 . (i.e. the three biggest competitions in the discipline)† If the French trust me, we’ll work on it once I’m elected. This is also the influence of France”, he assured in the same interview.
The urgent need to pacify the stands
Violence in football stadiums is recurring this season. So much so that the question was posed to the highest level of the state. After an initial consultation meeting on November 23, 2021, three weeks later, on December 16, the Ministry of the Interior adopted a series of measures to put an end to this violence: the definitive and systematic cessation of a match in the event of a referee or player injured by a projectile, a maximum period of 30 minutes to decide the fate of the match, and the ban on plastic bottles in stadiums from 1 July 2022.
Will these measures be enough to stop this bleeding? Marked by a dozen different incidents, the 2021-2022 Ligue 1 season again experienced excesses this month with an attempt intrusion of spectators on April 10 on the ground in Brest opposite Nantes, against a background of tensions between ultras. Or on April 23, with the half-hour interruption of the match between Saint-Etienne and Monaco due to smoke bombs and fireworks, normally prohibited in the stadium, used by the ultras to celebrate the Green Angels group’s 30th anniversary.
A sporty France through sport at school
Emmanuel Macron had already tested the measure during his first five-year term. He decided to make it one of his proposals for his second term. The head of state wants to generalize the measure of 30 minutes of sport per day at school across the entire territory, for children aged 6 to 12 years from the start of the 2022 school year. This measure, which is in addition to the hours of physical education and sports (EPS ), was already included in the sport’s democratization law passed on February 24, 2022.
This time of daily physical activity is a first step in the fight against a sedentary lifestyle, which is very present in young French people. According to the expertise conducted by ANSES, published in November 2020, 66% of surveyed young people aged 11 to 17 show “a worrying health risk”. On the ground, the measure is not unanimous, because of a school schedule that is difficult to stretch and unequal sports facilities on the territory.
Place of women in sport: after awareness, actions
After the revelations of former skater Sarah Abitbol in January 2020 about the sexual assaults she suffered between 15 and 17 years old, the woman’s voice was unleashed in the sports world. The impact was such that in 2020 the Ministry of Sport launched a National Convention to Prevent Violence in Sport. This convention, which has become an annual meeting, has made it possible to report cases of sexual violence in sport at the state level and to identify and punish the perpetrators of these acts.
More generally, the place of women in sport has been confirmed at all levels (athletes, supervisors, leaders), especially regarding the issue of equality in leadership positions within sport federations. This parity, enshrined in the law on the democratization of sport in France, voted in February 2022, will come into force in 2024 at the national level, in 2028 at the regional level. But after awareness and announcements of change, President Macron’s second five-year term will be judged for action.