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“Against homophobia in football, bouts of moralism prove to be highly ineffective”

EBetween March 2019 and October, not much has changed, apart from the name of the scandalized sports minister (Roxana Maracineanu in 2019, Amélie Oudéa-Castera today). It was already a match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Marseille (OM), and homophobic (and sexist) chants which aroused sudden general disapproval. Sunday September 24, at the Parc des Princes, such songs targeting the Marseillais were sung in the stands. The next day, the interministerial delegate for the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hatred, Olivier Klein, said he “very shocked”demanding “sanctions” from the club and the Professional Football League (LFP).

Also read the interview: Article reserved for our subscribers “Some of the French football authorities do not want to tackle the problem of homophobia head-on”

The Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castera, also challenged them in a tweetinviting to ” got out[r] stadiums » the authors, promising a “absolute firmness against the unacceptable”. Four years ago, his predecessor, Roxana Maracineanu, made similar comments. At the start of the 2019-2020 season, referees applied a new protocol by interrupting matches. In September, the measure was abandoned, having only sparked chaotic situations and provocative chants. A year later, still for a PSG-OM, Roxana Maracineanu declared herself “shocked” And “outraged” for the same facts. Sunday 1er October, similar scenes were seen during the Rennes-Nantes derby at Roazhon Park.

If we measure the progress made by the content of ministerial declarations, we must agree that outbursts of moralism, in the heat of a controversy, prove to be highly ineffective. Just like indiscriminate sanctions. It would already be useful not to lock supporters into a stigmatizing stereotype, by postulating their collective homophobia and by suggesting that they would be a case in point in an entirely “LGBTQIA+ friendly” French society.

This global problem, without being specific to it, nevertheless arises in a specific way in football, not only because of its visibility. There are even fewer declared homosexuals in professional football than of openly lesbian actresses in the cinema, echoing the declarations of Muriel Robin on France 2. However, the situation is tense in the world of “ultras”. Dialogue with sports authorities is progressing slowly, in a country where the authorities do not wish to organize their travel and restrict their freedoms with baroque prefectural decrees, collective punishments and preventive sanctions.

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