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France supporters prevented from unfurling banner against World Cup reform

20 minutes report this morning that a group of France supporters were prevented from unfurling a banner at the Parc des Princes last night protesting against FIFA’s plan to hold a World Cup every two years.

The banner, which read “#No2YearWorldCup”, could not be shown in the stadium after stewards stopped the group of fans involved.

Fabien Bonnet, the head of the supporters’ group, explained that the message was in response to FIFA’s claim that fans were in favour of the reform. The message would only have been shown temporarily, given the delicate emotional context of the match – on the anniversary of the 2015 Paris attacks, with various commemorations taking place during the evening.

Bonnet has explained that given the non-vindictive nature of the message – unlike banners in other stadiums like “Fifa Mafia” – and FFF president Noël Le Graët’s unclear position, they did not seek official permission beforehand. Having initially deployed a banner paying hommage to the victims of the Paris attacks – which security initially sought to take away before seeing the nature of its message – the group’s bags were then searched by security and the World Cup banner was found.

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