The PR man was not amused.
In an attempt to keep questions focused on the French national team’s World Cup pursuit and not on the club future of star striker Antoine Griezmann, France dictated that all questions must be asked in French. One Spanish reporter thought he found a clever loophole.
Pedro Morata of radio network Cadena SER typed his question (asking whether Griezmann had decided to stay at Atletico Madrid or not) into a translation app on his phone and pressed the microphone up to the speaker as the robot voice began to speak.
It’s a good idea and Griezmann certainly appeared to appreciate the effort, but French PR man Philippe Tournon was having none of it. He quickly shut down Morata’s technologically aided inquiry and told him to pass the microphone to the person next to him.
It might not have worked in this case but don’t be surprised if another reporter tries to copy this strategy later in the World Cup.