Homophobia in French football: Why is it happening?
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From Ian Holyman
The Ligue 1 Podcast, producer
Warning: This article includes.
It was a minute that has altered the face of French football.
Referee Mehdi Mokhtari ceased play in the Ligue 2 game at Nancy on 16 August not for a foul, but for abuse in the home fans, that rang about the mark.
The target wasn’t that day’s competitions, Le Mans, however rather Metz, who are Nancy’s Ligue 1 acquaintances in the Lorraine region.
A stadium announcement for fans to quit using the non -“les Messins, les messins, c’est des pedes”, which translates as”individuals from Metz, individuals from Metz, they’re faggots” – went unheeded.
So Mokhtari took actions, quitting the match for some 60 minutes.
“It’s a first,” France’s Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu submitted on social networking. “And the last, I hope.”
Her wish hasn’t been granted.
So far, the LFP is investigating 18 matches. Several games are disrupted, including the game on 28 August and the Brest-Reims experience four days before. Some top-flight clubs, including Lille and Marseille, have now been given a dressing down for the behavior of the fans.
Maracineanu is in the center of the initiative. In a Paris St-Germain v Marseille game last April, she had been horrified by insults aimed by PSG fans at their bitter rivals.
“It is only inadmissible to hear the chants I discovered,” she explained. “I really don’t see why we would allow us to do things at a stadium we wouldn’t do elsewhere.”
Referees were instructed to stop games this season if such incidents happen. “Everything that is happening now was planned a long time prior to the Union spoke,” said Bertrand Lambert, president of this anti-homophobia institution PanamBoyz & Girlz, however he acknowledged Maracineanu’s words were”an electrical jolt”.
They certainly got the ball rolling, but French football is fractured through which direction it has kicked.
“Why are people being singled out now when we’ve been singing it for 20 decades?” Stated Jean-Michel Goncalves, a top Nancy supporters’ association guess. “We’ve got nothing against homosexuals. When we insult Metz, it’s about tradition” Nathalie Boy de la Tour, the LFP presidentdid not condone the songs, but struck a chord with lovers when she said:”Most don’t think they are hurting anybody.”
At a poll carried out for RTL, 61 percent of supporters echoed that view.
France is not alone. In 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo – subsequently at Real Madrid – was told to”come out of the closet” by some Barcelona fans. The newest Diego Maradona film shows the Argentina legend teaching his young daughter to say a homophobic term to Napoli’s Serie A rivals in the late 1980s, along with Mexico fans attained notoriety at the 2018 World Cup at Russia for predicting opposition goalkeepers male prostitutes if they took goal-kicks.
“To telephone your opponent homosexual is unquestionably along a spectrum of machismo, whereby your opponent is weaker – less masculine,” Joshua Nadel, writer of Futbol! Soccer Things in Latin America, told the Guardian.
It could be part of football folklore in Latin countries, however Maracineanu’s reaction mirrors the sea change in attitudes that make these chants no more okay within stadiums when they have been frowned upon them outside.
But, her clear vision of what’s wrong loses focus in regards to the question of how to place it right.
“It is not up to me to discover answers,” she explained lately, but indicated in L’Equipe before this week that a listing of homophobic words should be drawn up to give soccer government a clearer image of exactly what constitutes this abuse.
“I’m not really at ease with this idea of a pre-defined record,” countered Frederic Potier, Inter-ministerial Delegate to the Fight against Racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT. “Forbidding everything immediately will be dumb and could turn against us” additional Yoann Lemaire, president of the Foot Ensemble (Football Together) association.
Opinions are only as diverse among those on the pitch.
Nice midfielder Wylan Cyprien stated it was”absurd” to stop games”for so small,” claiming the chants have been”not geared toward gay people”. His manager, Patrick Vieira, thought referee Clement Turpin was”totally right” to halt the match with Marseille, an opinion shared by OM captain Steve Mandanda, who stated:”You need to create a stand and then it stops.”
The problem is the LFP’s stand has been feeble.
The Piantoni stand in the ground of Nancy was closed for one match, the sole significant punishment thus far.
Should they proceed farther and dock teams points?
“I really don’t think so,” said Lille trainer Christophe Galtier. “Why do you want to punish players that are neither racist nor homophobic since there is one, 10, or even 100 individuals who have racist or homophobic reactions in the racks?”
With the onus on referees matches without any apparent guidelines, inconsistencies are just and numerous real fans’ anger and confusion. A meeting had been expected to take place but was pushed back by fans’ groups, that want before widening the discussion to take into account the matter internally.
The disposition, however, is favorable.
“We will need to shortly have important rules that are implemented everywhere and for everybody,” explained Lambert. “However, for that, we will need to talk to each other, away from the cameras also with no politics. I’m optimistic, we’ll arrive.”
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