Take the train! French rail boss slams PSG after short-haul hop

·2 min read

French football giants Paris Saint-Germain made light work of their opponents Nantes in an away league game this weekend but then received a volley of criticism for making the relatively short journey to western France by plane.

"From Paris to Nantes with @qatarairways!" the Qatar-owned side tweeted as it showed Kylian Mbappe and other PSG stars boarding a jet for Nantes, just 380 kilometres (240 miles) from Paris.

The PSG side notched up an easy 0-3 victory to stay top of Ligue 1 and another video emerged on social media of its stars looking happy and relaxed on the trip home.

But with the carbon footprint of sports stars now coming under increased scrutiny, the video was seized upon by Alain Krakovitch, the head of SNCF's TGV high-speed passenger trains.

"Paris-Nantes is in less than two hours by TGV," he said on Twitter.

"I renew our proposal for a TGV offer adapted to your specific needs in line with our common interests -- safety, speed, services and eco-mobility," he added.

PSG coach Christophe Galtier made light of the criticism during Monday's press conference ahead of the Parisians' Champions League home game against Juventus.

"We had a chat with our travel organisers earlier to see if we can travel by sand-yacht," he said, of the sailed beach buggies popular on certain French beaches.

Qatar Airways, the emirate's flag carrier, are the shirt sponsors of PSG.

The controversy comes against the background of a growing clamour in France from ecologists for restrictions on private jet travel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Pressure group Attac had on Friday pilloried PSG's Argentinian star Lionel Messi for his use of private air travel.

"From June to August, Messi made 52 flights with his private jet, amounting to 1,502 tons of CO2 emissions. That's as much as a single French person would be responsible for in 150 years," it said.

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