Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 09/20 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 09/19 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 09/18 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.

French football chief backtracks over homophobic chanting

media Noel Le Graet faced calls for his resignation following his comments over how to tackle homophobic chanting. Reuters/Fred Lancelot

French Football Federation boss Noel Le Graet reconfigured his stance on homophobic chanting on Wednesday night in a joint statement with the French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu.

Le Graet, who had earlier complained about referees stopping matches over the abuse, said he affirmed his commitment to Maracineanu in the fight against all forms of discrimination.

They also called for confidence to be placed in referees to stop matches when required.

The joint communique tempered a public spat between the pair.


On Tuesday, Le Graet said in an interview on France Info radio station that stopping matches for anti-gay chants and banners was a mistake. "I would stop a match for racist chants," he added.

His comments brought a welter of complaints and calls for his resignation from gay rights and anti-racism groups.

Maracineanu, a former Olympic swimmer, said Le Graet had been wrong to differentiate between homophobia and racism.


Since the start of the French season, several matches have been halted by officials due to perceived homophobic chants and banners in stadiums.

Among those were Marseille's 2-1 win at Nice last month, which was stopped for 10 minutes.

Another game, between Metz and Paris Saint-Germain, paused briefly when a banner was unfurled by Metz supporters asking the league to allow them to aim homophobic chants at PSG.

The interruptions - instigated by match officials - have been criticised by  supporters from around the country but have been praised by politicians, led by Maracineanu and equalities minister Marlene Schiappa.


Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.