Calls for action for homophobic chants in France
PARIS, France (AP):
Homophobic chanting by sections of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) fans targeting Marseille players has again marred the biggest game in French football, prompting calls for sanctions.
Olivier Klein, the inter-ministerial delegate for the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBTQ+ hatred (Dilcrah), posted a video yesterday of PSG supporters using insulting homophobic slurs aimed at their Marseille rivals.
PSG won the game at the Parc des Princes 4-0.
"Very shocked by the unbearable homophobic chants heard at the Parc des Princes," Klein said on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter. He added that he would ask PSG and the French league authorities to bring in sanctions and investigate the possibility of starting judicial action.
In another video, some PSG players were filmed using insults directed at Marseille supporters while celebrating with youngsters at the end of the match.
French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera joined the criticism of the fans. She said the disciplinary committee of the French federation will look into the case. She urged PSG to file a legal complaint to "identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice so they can be removed from the stadiums."
"It is unthinkable to remain deaf to such hateful and homophobic chants in our stands," she said. "Regardless of the rivalry and the stakes involved, they must be fought relentlessly by fans, those involved in the competition, the authorities and the public authorities. These chants spoiled the party at the Parc. We need to eradicate it from our stadiums as a matter of urgency."
French clubs have been sanctioned with fines. The league's disciplinary commission also ordered the closure of stands for similar cases in recent years. Also, French law provides up to one year's imprisonment and a EU45,000 (US$47,600) fine when anti-gay insults are made in public.
PSG said, in a statement, that they condemn all forms of discrimination and "intends to further strengthen preventive work in the fight against homophobia". The French league champions added that a meeting with all their partners focusing on the topic would happen in the coming days.
Homophobic chants, often heard at French league matches, have been tolerated for a long time by many club officials, and football authorities have struggled to find appropriate ways of tackling the issue.