Ligue 1: Minister demands for sanctions against players who failed to participate in an anti-homophobia program.
The French sports minister has stated that Ligue 1 teams should discipline players who did not participate in a show of support against homophobia, despite the fact that the players’ union has stated that it is “astonished” that its members were requested to do so.
According to Amelie Oudea-Castera, players “have to show up” on such matters.
However, the National Union of Professional Footballers stated that players should not be required to transmit “collective messages.”
The incident caused some Toulouse players to miss Sunday’s game against Nantes.
According to the club, the players “expressed their dissatisfaction with the association of their image with the rainbow colors representing the LGBT movement.”
The gesture was made in support of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia on May 17.
Over the weekend, Ligue 1 and 2 players donned rainbow-colored numbers and posed with banners before games, while coaches and officials wore rainbow armbands.
“I think it is the responsibility of the clubs to take sanctions,” Oudea-Castera added. “You must appear during such an operation, which involves all the clubs on the fundamental subject of non-discrimination.”
Toulouse and Morocco striker Zakaria Aboukhlal was among those who elected not to play in Nantes, commenting on social media: “Respect is a value that I hold in high regard.” It includes respect for others, but it also includes respect for my own personal convictions.
“As a result, I don’t believe I am the best candidate for this campaign.”
Brest coach Eric Roy, whose team is just five points above the Ligue 1 relegation zone, believes the season should not have been planned at a time when players are striving to avoid relegation.
“Today’s programming against homophobia is catastrophic,” he remarked.