Romain Rouillard 16:30 pm, September 30, 2023Last Sunday, during the PSG-OM classic (4-0), some Parisian fans sang homophobic chants aimed at their Marseille rivals. On Europe 1, in the program "Le Studio des Légendes", the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, regretted that the match had not been interrupted.
She was quick to make her reaction heard. The day after the resounding victory of Paris Saint-Germain over Olympique de Marseille at the Parc des Princes (4-0), Amélie Oudéa-Castéra split a long message on X (ex-Twitter) to denounce the homophobic chants sung by some Parisian fans against their Marseille rivals.
"It is unthinkable to remain deaf to such hateful and homophobic chants in our stands. Whatever the rivalry and the stakes, they must be fought relentlessly by the fans, the actors of the competition, the authorities and the public authorities. Yesterday, these songs spoiled the party at the Park," she said. On Thursday, on the sidelines of a visit to Arcom, the media regulatory authority, the minister even considered that the match should have been interrupted. A position reaffirmed this Saturday at the microphone of Europe 1 in Le Studio des Légendes.
Return of the protocol
"There was no immediate reaction, as I would have liked it to happen, for example by making the choice to stop the match," she says. And to call for the protocol, allowing to interrupt a game when such chants are heard, to be applied by the referees, who have the prerogative. "It was a few years ago. In 2018, 2019 and early 2020. We had matches that were stopped because the unacceptable was happening in the stands," she recalls.
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In August 2019, a meeting between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille was effectively interrupted after chants of the same nature, accompanied, this time, by a provocative banner unfurled by Côte d'Azur fans. During this 2019-2020 season, several Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches had suffered the same fate for similar facts.
"Individual" and "collective" sanctions
Advocating zero tolerance in this area, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra also wants referees to be accompanied to detect problematic chants in the stands. "When a referee or x or y reason does not seem to hear this type of chant, it is necessary that observers, in the stands, report these facts, if necessary," she says. Before the application of "individual" sanctions, made possible, according to the minister, by the strengthening of the "legal arsenal" made available to the authorities.
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"We have the ability, when acts inciting hatred and discrimination are committed, that the people who are at the origin of them are subject to a judicial stadium ban, under the control of the judge, but firmly." A repression, which must, she says, be accompanied by "collective sanctions". More particularly "when there is an inaction which is that of clubs who do not take measures to stop these facts, who do not lodge a complaint, who do not consider it useful to have a frank and firm exchange with their supporters' associations and who, by their complacency, allow these phenomena to be encysted".
And to conclude by "calling everyone to responsibility", while welcoming the fact that the Professional Football League (LFP) "has seized and that there is a disciplinary procedure in progress".