Zinedine Zidane: France should ‘avoid’ a Marine Le Pen presidency

Former French footballer Zinedine Zidane says people should do whatever they can to prevent Marine Le Pen winning the French presidency.

Referring to the policies of Le Pen's National Front party the Real Madrid manager said he is "far from all these ideas".

"We need to do everything to avoid this," he added.

The former World Cup and European Championship winner, who is highly popular in France, has spoken out against the National Front before.

Zidane says the message this time "is the same, the one from 2002", referring to when Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round of a presidential election.

His comments came as the National Front's Jean-Francois Jalkh stepped down as party leader after just three days in the role.

Jalkh was named interim leader of the far-right party after Marine Le Pen temporarily gave up the job to focus on her presidential bid.

But he's decided not to take the role so that he can prepare legal action over allegations he shared the views of Holocaust deniers.

He'll be replaced by another of the party's four vice presidents Steeve Briois.

The controversy comes at a bad time for Le Pen, who has been attempting to distance the party from accusations of xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

In 2015 she expelled her father from the party due to his controversial views.

The National Front co-founder has been twice convicted for his comments about the Second World War and called the Nazi gas chambers a "detail" of history.

Marine Le Pen will go head-to-head with Emmanuel Macron in the final round of voting on 7 May.

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