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England's team base is a 'politics-free zone' on election day


BLANKENHAIN, Germany (AP) — France's players have been vocal at Euro 2024 with calls to get out to vote in parliamentary elections. The England team, not so much.

“Politics-free zone” was defender John Stones' verdict on the England camp Thursday as Britain held a general election. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ’s Conservatives are widely expected to lose to the opposition Labour Party.

Stones was happy to discuss England's quarterfinal game with Switzerland on Saturday, the squad's newfound self-belief after a comeback win over Slovakia, and the strapping he'd been wearing on his right knee — “all good, looks worse” — but admitted he had no clue about his teammates' voting intentions.

“I couldn’t tell you about the other lads. I’m sure it it’ll be something that’ll get brought up tonight, later on, but I couldn’t tell you who they vote for. They keep it close to their chests," he said.

That's a stark contrast to France's players, who have been contesting Euro 2024 amid a hard-fought election campaign at home. French parliamentary elections are split into two rounds, with the first — which saw a strong showing for the far-right National Rally — held Sunday.

Defender Jules Koundé said he was “disappointed to see the direction our country is taking” in comments Monday after France beat Belgium for a place in the quarterfinals. Star striker Kylian Mbappé has been urging young people to vote and warned that “the extremes are knocking on the door of power”.

Runoff elections that will determine the balance of power in the French parliament are Sunday. If France beats Portugal in their quarterfinal Friday, the team would be preparing for its semifinal game when the runoff is held.


AP Euro 2024: