Toulouse sideline players who refused to partake in anti-homophobia campaign

Toulouse have sidelined several of their players who had refused to take part in Ligue 1’s anti-homophobia campaign for their home league game against Nantes, the club have announced. The league-wide initiative to combat homophobia consists of wearing the club kit adorned with rainbow-coloured shirt numbers. Zakaria Aboukhlal, Moussa Diarra and Saïd Hamulić – three of the five players who were mentioned in the initial report from last night – have all been pulled out of the Philippe Montanier-led squad. Meanwhile, Nantes Egyptian striker Mostafa Mohamed is also said to have refused to take part in the initiative.

Players of the professional squad have expressed disagreement over the association of their image with rainbow colours representing the LGBT movement”, Toulouse have written in a club statement. “Although respectful of the individual choices of their players, and after numerous exchanges, Toulouse Football Club has chosen to sideline said players for the game scheduled for this Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Toulouse Stadium.” Eventually, Toulouse v Nantes kicked off at 4:30 pm as a result of suspicious packages found in the away end. The  packages in question were three boxes intended to cover the away end full of Nantes fans in purple smoke, purple being the hosts’ colour.

The statement concludes that openness is an integral part of the club’s DNA. “Our players are chosen for their human qualities regardless of their beliefs or convictions. Finally, Toulouse Football Club would like to mention their long-standing commitment to the fight against homophobia and all forms of discrimination.”

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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