French Sports Minister Oudea-Castera at the opening of the Rugby World Cup earlier this month
Photo: SARAH MEYSSONNIER / REUTERS
After homophobic chants by Paris Saint-Germain fans at the league match against Olympique Marseille and insulting comments from some players, members of the French government have demanded consequences. Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera called on the French football champions to "file a lawsuit to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice so that they are removed from the stadiums".
It is "unthinkable that we are deaf to such hateful and homophobic chants in our stands," she wrote after Sunday's game between the two rivals on X (formerly Twitter). Olivier Klein, the interministerial commissioner for combating racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia, called for "sanctions" and announced that he would consider a lawsuit in court.
Klein was "very shocked". His remarks are accompanied by a video in which PSG fans chant homophobic chants against OM players. According to the French news agency AFP, the chants lasted for almost a quarter of an hour.
Videos circulating on social media showed PSG players – including Randal Kolo Muani, who recently moved from Eintracht Frankfurt to Paris – singing songs with insulting messages to their opponents after the match that PSG won 4-0.
Sports Minister refers to government plan against discrimination
Oudea-Castera's demands are based on a government plan against anti-LGBT+ hatred unveiled this summer, which stipulates that "any person convicted by a court for homophobic remarks in a stadium" will be pushed by the government for an additional stadium ban. The minister recalled that it was necessary to go beyond the recurring indignation of the media and condemn the perpetrators.
According to an Ipsos survey published at the beginning of September and carried out jointly with the LGBT+ Sports Federation, 46% of French people said they had already observed homophobic or transphobic behaviour in the sports environment. Nevertheless, according to this study, less than one in two French people feel that "something is being done to combat LGBTphobia in sport" and more than three-quarters (78%) want the government to "go further" on this issue.
PSG, when contacted by AFP, said that the club "condemns all forms of discrimination, especially homophobia, and would like to remind them that they have no place either in the stadiums or in society". The question of a possible lawsuit against the fan groups left the club unanswered.
In France, homophobic chants are more often intoned in stadiums. Last season, some professionals also refused to wear a jersey with a rainbow print on the occasion of the Day Against Homophobia.