As part of the 35th day of the French Ligue 1 championship, an awareness campaign against homophobia was organised, involving the wearing of rainbow flocking on players’ shirts. And this one is not to everyone’s taste…
THE Toulouse–Nantes of this Sunday afternoon is definitely not a match like the others. First, it is a remake of the last Coupe de France final, which had largely turned to the advantage of the TFC (5-0). But in addition, the meeting is delayed to 4:30 p.m., following a security operation currently underway in the stands of the Stadium. On the other hand, and this is undoubtedly where the most sensitive subject comes in: several players have made it known that they refuse to wear the flocked jersey in the colors of the rainbow, which aims to fight against homophobia.
Among these players, we find on the TFC side the Algerian international Farès Chaïbi (all the same on the match sheet but a substitute) and the Moroccan international Zakaria Aboukhlal, not in the group, who have clearly expressed their disagreement with the wearing of this jersey. Other elements who would also have expressed their refusal: the Malian Moussa Diarra and the Cape Verdean Logan Costa. The first is absent from the match sheet and the second, heroes of the last Coupe de France finalis a substitute.
On the side of the Canaries, the Egyptian striker Mostafa Mohamed, who nevertheless made the trip, also refused to wear the jersey. He will therefore not play this match which marks the first steps of Pierre Aristouy at the head of the Loire club. And as if that weren’t enough, another tension erupted before the encounter. It opposed Franck Kita, the general manager of FC Nantes, to Mogi Bayat, who has long been considered the unofficial sports director of the club. We hope that the meeting will be as animated…
FC Nantes. Mostafa Mohamed refuses rainbow flocking, kick-off delayed at 4:30 p.m.: tensions in Toulouse #FCNantes
– Tribune Nantaise (@TribuneNantaise) May 14, 2023
Not a first…
These cases of refusal to wear rainbow flocking are not the first in the world of French football. They echo other similar episodes in the past, where some players had also chosen not to participate in these initiatives against homophobia.
It is for this reason that the Senegalese from Guingamp Donatien Gomis was missing on Saturday against Sochaux (1-0) on the occasion of the 35th day of Ligue 2. And last season, the former Parisian midfielder Idrissa Gueye had also expressed his refusal, which had caused unprecedented media hype.
Whether for personal, cultural or religious reasons, these refusals by professional footballers to wear rainbow flocking often give rise to debates and various reactions. Some support players’ right to express their opinion and take a stand, while others stress the importance of fighting homophobia and promoting inclusion through sport.