Hugo Lloris being caught driving whilst under the influence of alcohol was a genuine shock.
He’s certainly not the first footballer to find himself in such a situation, but the Tottenham player has such a big reputation as a mature, educated and responsible man that it didn’t really fit the character perception.
Saturday’s edition of L’Equipe tries to explain the situation, and they’re kind towards the French World Cup winning captain.
Attitudes to drink driving are slightly different in the UK and France and that’s why the French newspaper explains to the their readers that Lloris is in a difficult situation.
Headlining their article ‘The troubles of Lloris’, L’Equipe say it’s a ‘simple story with complicated consequences’.
By coincidence, L’Equipe interviewed the goalkeeper on Thursday evening for two and a half hours, and it’s noted he had a double espresso. Afterwards, it’s stated Lloris left for a French restaurant in Mayfair where he would have dinner with Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud and Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny.
On the way home, a little after 2am on what was now Friday morning, Lloris was stopped by the police for a routine check, and that’s when he failed the breath test.
L’Equipe go on to say: ‘In fact, this case will not have the same consequences for his image in France and England, where drunk driving is an absolute taboo, a limit not to be crossed in a country that has a love affair with that is hypocritical towards alcohol. While the FFF announced yesterday, in a statement, that it was a “private affair that will not affect the next meeting of the team of France”, the moral pressure of the media and the general English public is going to be considerable around the captain of the world champions and his club.’
That passage gives a good example of the view towards drink driving in France, at least as far as the country’s major sport newspaper is concerned. The dig towards what they clearly believe is a drinking culture in England is unnecessary and probably doesn’t wash given the stance being taken.
It’s a ‘brutal’ time for Lloris, with the French newspaper telling their readers of reports he could lose the Tottenham captaincy to Harry Kane.
The goalkeeper has apologised and deserves to be taken at his word, but perhaps rather than the French media looking to back him by taking digs at England, it would be better if they look closer to home and take the hint that drink driving should be considered more taboo in France too.
If it was, maybe Hugo Lloris would have thought twice before getting behind the wheel.