Words: Steve Brown
French Football Federation president is 'totally against' referees stopping matches if there are homophobic chants.
During the match between Nice and Marseille on Wednesday (August 28), Nice supporters unfurled one banner which read: “Welcome to the INEOS group: at Nice we also love to pedal.”
On the second banner, they criticised the French league authorities for approving more fenced-off sections in the stands and the translation read: “More fans in the stands means a more gay stadium”.
After the banners were held up, fans started chanting homophobic slurs towards other supporters and players.
When referee Clement Turpin realised supporters weren’t going to stop with the chants, he ordered players from both teams to be escorted from the pitch.
However, Noel Le Graet, the FFF president, said he doesn’t believe a game should be stopped following homophobic chants and vowed they will ‘make sure’ homophobic chants and banners do not happen anymore.
He told France Info: “I would not stop the games – totally against this.
“We will make sure there are no more [homophobic banners and chants]. But stopping a game? – No.”
He went on to address the fans responsible for the chanting and said: “Do not come to the stadium with banners, it’s as simple as that.
“You can support your team, but [homophobia is] absolutely wrong morally.”