The 44th edition of the Dakar Rally has now reached the middle of the competition program, which will definitively end on January 14th. However, even before that date, the competition could actually undergo a sensational one exit from the scene of all participants of French nationality. A choice dictated by a specific will of the transalpine government, ready to withdraw all its citizens engaged in Saudi Arabia following the very serious event that took place last December 30: on that occasion, the Sodicars pilot, Philippe Boutron, was seriously injured in the lower limbs afterwards to the explosion of a bomb placed under his car. While the 61-year-old fortunately came out of his coma on January 6, the French national anti-terrorism prosecutor has in the meantime begun preliminary investigations to “Attempted murder in relation to a terrorist episode”, ongoing.
The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian he then stressed the possibility of a flat rate national team during an interview with BFMTV, underlining the risks related to the safety of the pilots and of the entire staff involved in the Dakar: “We think that perhaps this sporting event is worth giving up – commented – we told the organizers and Saudi officials that we need to be very transparent about what happened, because there were suppositions that it could be a terrorist act. There have already been similar cases in Saudi Arabia against French interests, and it was important to protect our citizens, warn, prevent and demand maximum transparency. We really need to be very vigilant – he added – the organizers have decided to remain cautious, but sufficient and strengthened protection mechanisms have nevertheless been put in place ”.
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