France is off to a good start this World Cup, as it competes for glory again after claiming the 2018 trophy in Russia.
French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to express his support for the French team and World Cup host nation, Qatar.
He lauded the country’s progress and urged it to continue the path it has taken.
He tweeted: “This Football World Cup, the first organised in the Arab world, bears witness to the concrete changes that are at work. Qatar has embarked on this path and must continue. It can count on our support.”
Amid Western protests over the rights of migrant workers in Qatar, Paris joined other French cities in choosing not to broadcast World Cup 2022 matches on large screens in public fan zones in October.
However, earlier this month, the French President said politicising sports is “a very bad idea”.
The statements were published by the AFP just days ahead of the major tournament.
Ahead of the tournament, French Captain Hugo Lloris also bucked the trend of European teams criticising Qatar, and instead urged respect for the host nation.
“When we welcome foreign visitors to France we often would like them to respect our rules and our culture. I will do the same when I go to Qatar,” Lloris said, while confirming his team’s choice not to wear the ‘One Love’ armbands in support of LGBT rights.