Tragedy Strikes: Karembeu Family Members Killed In New Caledonia

Photo: Instagram/Christian Karembeu

French World Cup hero Christian Karembeu has been hit by heartbreaking news as he reveals the loss of his niece and nephew in the ongoing violence in New Caledonia. 

The turmoil in the French Pacific territory, where Karembeu was born, has claimed the lives of seven individuals amidst contentious voting reforms.

Karembeu, now 53 and serving as a strategic advisor and ambassador for Greek club Olympiakos, shared his grief amid preparations for Wednesday's Europa Conference League final in Athens against Fiorentina.

Photo: Instagram/Christian Karembeu

"I lost members of my family. That's why I remained silent, because I'm in mourning. Two people in my family were shot in the head," the former Middlesbrough midfielder expressed to Europe 1, calling for investigations into the tragic deaths.

The unrest in New Caledonia, located between Australia and Fiji, has been primarily driven by protests from the indigenous Kanak community, of which Karembeu is a part. The territory's voting system presently limits participation to indigenous Kanaks and French settlers who arrived before 1998. Proposed reforms aim to expand voting rights to more long-term French residents, sparking tension and violence.

Karembeu's own journey saw him leave New Caledonia at 17 to pursue a football career in mainland France, ultimately achieving 53 caps for the national team and tasting World Cup glory in 1998. His illustrious playing career included stints at clubs like Nantes, Sampdoria, Real Madrid, Olympiakos, Servette, and Bastia. As he grapples with personal tragedy, Karembeu's call for justice echoes the sentiment of a community in mourning and a nation in turmoil.

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Source: BBC Sports 

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