This weekend’s league-wide anti-homophobia campaign, through which players wore rainbow-colored numbers on their shirts and managers donned rainbow armbands, did not has apparently not met with unanimous approval in French football.
After several Toulouse players refused to take part in the campaign, resulting in their exclusion from the matchday squad against Nantes yesterday, Brest coach Eric Roy lamented his “timing” and claimed league authorities should “dealing above all with football”. This weekend was chosen because May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Rennes coach Bruno Génésio – whose side beat Troyes 4-0 on Sunday afternoon – also expressed his displeasure, calling the campaign “unnecessary”, as RMC report. Neither Génésio nor Captain Hamari Traoré wore the rainbow armband yesterday.
Although he indicated in his press conference that he was “personally against any form of discrimination”, the coach also argued that an anti-homophobia campaign was beyond the remit of the LFP, the governing body of the two French professional leagues.
“But I also think we’re here to play football, and that’s the most important thing. Everyone is free to do and think as they wish. We are against all forms of discrimination, but I’m not sure a day against homophobia is necessary. I think we are all aware of it and that there is no point in displaying it all the time… We can also have many other causes for which we would have a different jersey every week.