PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 10, 2019) (FRANCE INFO – ACCESS ALL)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOOTBALL FEDERATION PRESIDENT, NOEL LE GRAET, SAYING:
“To be clear, I won’t stop the matches. Football lets everybody in, all social classes, all the male or female players who accept to play the game are perfectly accepted in our clubs and in our stadiums. I am completely against it but I do not want to be taken hostage on homophobia. It’s not true, there’s no omerta, there’s a fierce will to ensure that people can be in a stadium in a dignified and friendly way and with their families. But stopping matches does not interest me.”
JOURNALIST ASKING (French); “So you’re asking the referees to not stop the games anymore?”
“It’s a mistake (when you stop a game). I would stop a game if there are racists chants, that is clear. I would stop a match, I would give and have given instructions, for fights, for incidents linked to a danger somewhere in the stands.”
STORY: French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet told a radio station that he supported referees stopping matches in the event of racist chants – but not homophobic ones, in comments that drew criticism on Tuesday (September 10).
The FFF introduced new rules this season enabling referees to interrupt play in the event of any such incident.
Several Ligue 1 matches have been briefly interrupted by referees this season because of homophobic chants in the stands, in accordance with new rules the FFF enforced this season.
The president does not have the authority to instruct referees to go against the new rules.
(Production: Pascale Antonie)