The Daily Show host Trevor Noah fired back at Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the US, for his letter accusing Noah of being racist for joking that “Africa won the World Cup.”

Noah’s observation was only half in jest, for 14 of the 23 members of the French squad, which won the World Cup, are of African origin. Among them are two of the goal-scorers in the final against Crotia: Kylian Mbappé and Paul Pogba. However, this did not go down well with several people in France.

In a “Between the Scenes” segment on Wednesday’s show, Noah read out the letter in which the French ambassador said only two players came directly from Africa and that “nothing could be less true” than Noah’s joke.

Questioning Araud’s premise, Noah said, “My opinion people all over the world were celebrating the African-ness of the French players. Not in a negative way but in a positive way as in, look at these Africans, who can become French.”

He added, “When I’m saying ‘African’ I’m not saying it to exclude them from their French-ness, I’m saying it to include them in my African-ness.”