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The masked man: Mbappé set to join list of soccer stars needing to wear a protective masks in games

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The masked man: Mbappé set to join list of soccer stars needing to wear a protective masks in games
News

News

The masked man: Mbappé set to join list of soccer stars needing to wear a protective masks in games

2024-06-18 20:25 Last Updated At:20:30

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Kylian Mbappé is always a marked man.

At the European Championship, he's set to be known as the masked man.

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FILE - Kylian Mbappe of France sits on the pitch, hand over his bloody nose, as the referee holds the yellow card, during a Group D match between Austria and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, File)

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Kylian Mbappé is always a marked man.

FILE - British soccer star Paul Gascoigne, playing for football club Lazio, wears a mask to protect his cheek-bone during Lazio vs Ancona first division soccer match at Rome's, Italy, Olympic stadium on May 16, 1993. (AP Photo/Claudio Luffoli, File)

FILE - British soccer star Paul Gascoigne, playing for football club Lazio, wears a mask to protect his cheek-bone during Lazio vs Ancona first division soccer match at Rome's, Italy, Olympic stadium on May 16, 1993. (AP Photo/Claudio Luffoli, File)

FILE - Nigeria's Victor Osimhen reacts after missing an opportunity to score during the African Cup of Nations semifinal soccer match between Nigeria and South Africa, at the Peace of Bouake stadium in Bouake Bouake, Ivory Coast, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

FILE - Nigeria's Victor Osimhen reacts after missing an opportunity to score during the African Cup of Nations semifinal soccer match between Nigeria and South Africa, at the Peace of Bouake stadium in Bouake Bouake, Ivory Coast, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Jorginho, front, celebrates with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal from penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (Glyn Kirk/Pool via AP, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Jorginho, front, celebrates with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal from penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (Glyn Kirk/Pool via AP, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the champions League soccer match between Chelsea and Red Bull Salzburg at the Stamford Bridge in London, England, in London , England, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Leila Coker, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the champions League soccer match between Chelsea and Red Bull Salzburg at the Stamford Bridge in London, England, in London , England, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Leila Coker, File)

FILE - South Korea's Son Heung-min adjusts his mask during a training session at Al Egla Training Site 5 in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

FILE - South Korea's Son Heung-min adjusts his mask during a training session at Al Egla Training Site 5 in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

FILE - Croatia's Josko Gvardiol looks on during the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE - Croatia's Josko Gvardiol looks on during the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE - Kylian Mbappe of France holds his nose after suffering an injury during a Group D match between Austria and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

FILE - Kylian Mbappe of France holds his nose after suffering an injury during a Group D match between Austria and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

The France superstar broke his nose in his team's opening game of Euro 2024, a 1-0 win over Austria on Monday, and is likely to be fitted with a carbon-fiber mask if he is to play again in the tournament.

He wouldn't be first soccer player needing to wear a mask, as Mbappé himself has pointed out.

The Associated Press looks at some others to have used this type of protective equipment on a soccer field:

Son broke his eye socket while playing for Tottenham in the Champions League about three weeks before the 2022 World Cup and required surgery, meaning he had to don a mask for South Korea's games in Qatar. “It’s more comfortable than I was expecting,” Son said about the mask at the time. "Although it does feel different from when I tried it on in the U.K. because of the weather. I think it was more comfortable there because I sweat more here due to the heat. I kept touching my mask during training to adjust it. I am still getting used to it but I was surprised at how comfortable it was.” Son said the mask was lighter than he expected.

Son wasn't the only masked player at that World Cup. Gvardiol, the Croatia center back, had to wear one after suffering a broken nose when clashing heads with then-Leipzig teammate Willi Orban in a German league match. Doctors decided that he could play for Croatia as long as he had a mask on. He was one of the best defenders at the World Cup — apart from when he came up against Lionel Messi in the semifinal against Argentina.

Gazza, as he was fondly known, needed face protection after being on the receiving end of an elbow from Netherlands midfielder Jan Wouters at Wembley Stadium in 1993. It broke his cheekbone and, invariably, the carbon-fibre protector he donned was nicknamed the “Gazz-mask." He wore it for games for Lazio in the Italian league and for the first time for England against Poland in a World Cup qualifier in Chorzow.

Rudiger wore a face mask at Euro 2020 after receiving a blow to the face while playing for Chelsea, his club at the time, against Real Madrid, the Spanish team where he now plays. That happened in April and he wore the mask for the remainder of the season for Chelsea and then at the Euros — perhaps a sign of how long Mbappé might be needing to use one.

Aubameyang was playing for Barcelona in the second half of the 2021-22 season when his home was burglarized, while he and his family were inside. The attackers broke Aubameyang's jaw, leading to him wearing a personalized protective mask when he joined Chelsea for the following season.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

FILE - Kylian Mbappe of France sits on the pitch, hand over his bloody nose, as the referee holds the yellow card, during a Group D match between Austria and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, File)

FILE - Kylian Mbappe of France sits on the pitch, hand over his bloody nose, as the referee holds the yellow card, during a Group D match between Austria and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru, File)

FILE - British soccer star Paul Gascoigne, playing for football club Lazio, wears a mask to protect his cheek-bone during Lazio vs Ancona first division soccer match at Rome's, Italy, Olympic stadium on May 16, 1993. (AP Photo/Claudio Luffoli, File)

FILE - British soccer star Paul Gascoigne, playing for football club Lazio, wears a mask to protect his cheek-bone during Lazio vs Ancona first division soccer match at Rome's, Italy, Olympic stadium on May 16, 1993. (AP Photo/Claudio Luffoli, File)

FILE - Nigeria's Victor Osimhen reacts after missing an opportunity to score during the African Cup of Nations semifinal soccer match between Nigeria and South Africa, at the Peace of Bouake stadium in Bouake Bouake, Ivory Coast, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

FILE - Nigeria's Victor Osimhen reacts after missing an opportunity to score during the African Cup of Nations semifinal soccer match between Nigeria and South Africa, at the Peace of Bouake stadium in Bouake Bouake, Ivory Coast, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Jorginho, front, celebrates with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal from penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (Glyn Kirk/Pool via AP, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Jorginho, front, celebrates with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger after scoring his side's second goal from penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (Glyn Kirk/Pool via AP, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the champions League soccer match between Chelsea and Red Bull Salzburg at the Stamford Bridge in London, England, in London , England, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Leila Coker, File)

FILE - Chelsea's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the champions League soccer match between Chelsea and Red Bull Salzburg at the Stamford Bridge in London, England, in London , England, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Leila Coker, File)

FILE - South Korea's Son Heung-min adjusts his mask during a training session at Al Egla Training Site 5 in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

FILE - South Korea's Son Heung-min adjusts his mask during a training session at Al Egla Training Site 5 in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

FILE - Croatia's Josko Gvardiol looks on during the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE - Croatia's Josko Gvardiol looks on during the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE - Kylian Mbappe of France holds his nose after suffering an injury during a Group D match between Austria and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

FILE - Kylian Mbappe of France holds his nose after suffering an injury during a Group D match between Austria and France at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

BERLIN (AP) — Greenland police said they apprehended veteran environmental activist and anti-whaling campaigner Paul Watson on an international arrest warrant issued by Japan.

Watson, a 73-year-old Canadian-American citizen, is a former head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society whose direct action tactics, including high-seas confrontations with whaling vessels, have drawn support from A-list celebrities and featured in the reality television series “Whale Wars.”

He was arrested Sunday when his ship docked in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, a police statement said. He later appeared before a district court to look into a request to detain him pending a decision on his possible extradition to Japan, the statement said.

On Monday, the Captain Paul Watson Foundation said in an emailed comment the veteran environmentalist would be detained in Nuuk at least until Aug. 15, following the court’s decision, to give the Danish justice ministry time to investigate the case and possible extradition. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison in Japan, according to the foundation.

His foundation also said the Greenland court wouldn’t allow Watson’s release on bail as he was considered a flight risk.

The foundation described more than a dozen police officers boarding the vessel and leading Watson away in handcuffs when it stopped to refuel. The foundation said the ship, along with 25 volunteer crew members, was en route to the North Pacific on a mission to intercept a new Japanese whaling ship.

“The arrest is believed to be related to a former Red Notice issued for Captain Watson’s previous anti-whaling interventions in the Antarctic region,” the foundation said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

“We implore the Danish government to release Captain Watson and not entertain this politically-motivated request,” Locky MacLean, the foundation director, said in the statement.

Neither the Japan Coast Guard nor Japan’s Foreign Ministry, which had issued the international warrant for Watson, confirmed they are negotiating Watson’s handover. However, the coast guard, the primary investigative authority in Watson’s case in Japan, said Monday that officials were on standby if a handover is ordered.

Greenland is an autonomous territory of Denmark. Japan does not have an extradition treaty with the European country and it is unknown if or when Watson would be handed over.

It's not the first time his tactics brought him head-to-head with authorities. He was detained in Germany in 2012 on a Costa Rican extradition warrant but skipped bail after learning that he was also sought for extradition by Japan, which has accused him of endangering whalers’ lives during operations in the Antarctic Ocean. He has since lived in countries including France and the United States.

Watson, who left Sea Shepherd in 2022 to set up his own organization, was also a leading member of Greenpeace, but left in 1977 amid disagreements over his aggressive tactics.

According to his foundation, Watson's current ship, the M/Y John Paul DeJoria, was due to sail through the Northwest Passage to the North Pacific to confront a newly built Japanese factory whaling ship, “a murderous enemy devoid of compassion and empathy hell bent on destroying the most intelligent self-aware sentient beings in the sea."

Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report from Tokyo, Japan.

FILE - Paul Watson, then founder and President of the animal rights and environmental Sea Shepherd Conservation, attends a demonstration against the Costa Rican government near Germany's President residence during a visit of Costa Rica's president in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Greenland police said they arrested Watson on Sunday, July 21, 2024, on an international arrest warrant issued by Japan. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

FILE - Paul Watson, then founder and President of the animal rights and environmental Sea Shepherd Conservation, attends a demonstration against the Costa Rican government near Germany's President residence during a visit of Costa Rica's president in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Greenland police said they arrested Watson on Sunday, July 21, 2024, on an international arrest warrant issued by Japan. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

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