the Nancy athletics club is mobilizing to prevent the expulsion of a Malian athlete

the Nancy athletics club is mobilizing to prevent the expulsion of a Malian athlete

Since mid-January, he has left a great void at Stade Raymond Petit in Nancy. “It’s not the same thing at all. There is no longer his smile, there is no longer this atmosphere”, says Diara, a member of the athletics club, about his friend Oumar Dembélé, a 19-year-old shot putter. “He is, I think, the nicest person in the world.” “He’s really a great guy, very helpful, super cool. We don’t understand this relentlessness”, adds Enzo, also close to the Malian athlete.

Oumar Dembélé, without papers, was arrested and detained on January 14 pending deportation to Mali. This orphan left the country at the age of 16. After Spain and Paris, he settled in Nancy. In the city of Lorraine, he quickly took French lessons, obtained a CAP in plumbing, continued with a professional baccalaureate and joined the Nancy Athlétisme Métropole, in the section of Cédric Delandre.“He is a unifier who attracts by his charisma, by his benevolence, he presses. We immediately want to participate. His specialty is really the shot put since he was qualified twice for the French youth championships again this year, the sixth French junior performance.

“He’s the athlete we would all like to have in a club.”

Cédric Delandre (Nancy Athletics Metropolis)

at franceinfo

Especially since the jovial beefy also supervises the children on weekends and prepares the BAFA. A young man “charming”abounds Dominique Baldelli, volunteer of the Salvation Army who took him under his wing: “He is interested in everything, from music to politics and he regularly watches the news to find out what is happening in France and how it is going. He is spending the end of year celebrations with us. He’s part of the family.”

>>> Nancy: 200 people mobilized Wednesday January 26, 2022 against the expulsion of the young Malian athlete Oumar Dembélé

But the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle is not of this opinion. It considers that the documents presented by Oumar Dembélé on his arrival in France are “irregular”. It’s a bad trial according to his first trainer, Stéphane Dupré: “I’ve only seen two undocumented people like Oumar in ten years. People who integrate, who make efforts at school level, who make efforts in terms of language.”

“He’s there on the entertainment, he’s there with the kids. He’s part of our society and because someone decided he didn’t have the right paper, we put him in jail. It’s not not human.”

Stéphane Dupré, trainer

at franceinfo

A petition demanding the release of Oumar Dembélé has already gathered 35,000 signatories. On January 26, 200 people gathered in front of the Nancy prefecture, responding to the call from the support group for the Malian sportsman. His relatives do not imagine that he will be taken back to a Mali in crisis where he no longer has a family.

The report by Jérôme Jadot at the Nancy athletics club

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