Speaking before his side’s Europa League fixture against Larnaca on Thursday, Rennes manager Bruno Genesio spoke about football’s role in the climate crisis, but highlighted that even though he agrees that Christophe Galtier’s comments were mis-judged, politicians have a bigger responsibility than a football coach in dealing with climate change. As transcribed by L’Équipe, the Rennes boss said the following:

 “Christophe Galtier’s joke was made in bad taste, as he himself admitted – we all need to have responsibility in our daily actions to pass the planet on to our kids in good conditions. However, the extend of this controversy is ridiculous. I think there are other ways of looking at things, and if we are in this position today, it is perhaps also because our politicians have a much greater responsibility than a football coach or a football player.”

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Speaking to Canal+ in the wake of his Paris Saint-Germain team’s 2-1 win over Juventus, Christophe Galtier indicated that he regretted a comment he made days ago regarding the team’s travel to away games.

Answering a question about the useof a private jet to get to Nantes – two hours away by train – Galtier joked that the club were looking into travelling by sand yacht, while Kylian Mbappé was laughing beside him. The joke prompted a backlash among fans and politicians alike, for whom the manager’s comments were dismissive and insensitive regarding the issue of climate change.

“I regret it, these days you can’t have a laugh. It was a joke at the wrong time. But believe me I am concerned about the planet’s problems. I know the responsibility we have. I’ve heard that we’re disconnected, that’s not the case. The joke was in bad taste. But to turn it into a scandal and makes us look like something we’re not…”

“My players care a lot about the climate, the club cares a lot about that.We went to Lille by bus. We’re aware of what’s at stake. Obviously I regret it, but I think it’s difficult to have a laugh in France. Even if my joke wasn’t great and I quickly realised it when I got home.”