Olivier Véran, the Spokesperson of the French Government, has criticised the players who refused to partake in Ligue 1’s anti-homophobia campaign this weekend. The league-wide initiative consisted of wearing the club kit adorned with rainbow-coloured shirt numbers.
Guingamp centre-back Donatien Gomis, Nantes forward Mostafa Mohamed and Toulouse’s Zakaria Aboukhlal, Moussa Diarra and Saïd Hamulić all declined to play this weekend. “It’s rubbish, simple as that“, Véran told France 2. “I read earlier an article quoting a national team manager, I think, that said homophobia is an opinion. It’s not, it’s a crime,” he continued. Véran declined to say if those players should be suspended by their clubs over their refusal to condemn homophobia.
“It’s anachronistic”, Véran adds. “We live in a French and European society and time where everyone is free to love one another as we please.” Véran went on to say that, if he was a head coach, he would have said to his players that this was an important initiative to back. “This is the message you convey to the youth. There are so many young people that are suffering from homophobia today in their daily lives.“
Toulouse have confirmed that the three players that refused to take part in this weekend’s campaign have been sidelined, whilst Nantes have fined Mohamed, although according to L’Équipe, he won’t be sidelined like his counterparts at Toulouse.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval