Ligue 1

LGBTQ group file complaint against three Ligue 1 players and clubs

LGBTQ group file complaint against three Ligue 1 players and clubs

Monaco’s Malian midfielder Mohamed Camara (2R) taped over an anti-homophobia logo in their final Ligue 1 game of the season against Nantes on May 19 (Nicolas TUCAT)

A French group campaigning aganst homophobia in football filed a complaint on Wednesday against Ligue 1 players Mohamed Camara, Mostafa Mohamed and Nabil Bentaleb and their clubs for "public provocation towards hatred because of sexual orientation".

The 'Bleus et Fiers' (Blue and Proud) association have taken aim at Camara, Mohamed and Bentaleb and their respective teams Monaco, Nantes and Lille along with the French League (LFP) over their behaviour during and after an anti-homophobia campaign in Ligue 1 on May 19, a source close to the case told AFP.

Mali midfielder Camara was banned for four matches by the LFP for not supporting the French league campaign against homophobia by hiding the logo on the front of his shirt as he played for Monaco against Nantes in the final game of the season.

The 24-year-old also chose not to take part in a group photo in which both teams stood behind a banner in support of the LGBTQ community.

The 'Bleus et Fiers' association believe the punishment handed out by the LFP was not harsh enough. The Malian player could have received a 10-match suspension under the disciplinary scale of the French Football Federation.

The group also claimed Nantes' Egyptian forward Mostafa Mohamed, 26, "refused to play the match to avoid wearing the t-shirt with the messages of the fight against homophobia" for the second year in a row.

Lille's French-born Algerian midfielder Bentaleb, 29, was accused of dodging posing in a photo in front of the LFP's anti-homophobia banner.

'Bleus et Fiers' also filed a complaint against the players' clubs, Monaco, Nantes and Lille for alleged "lack of strong reactions" and "complacency".

Monaco's general manager Thiago Scuro said after the game that Camara did not take part in the campaign "for religious reasons".

The Riviera outfit had apologised and indicated possible internal sanctions against the player.

The LFP is accused of not making "a report to the public prosecutor regarding any criminal behaviour, in this case aggravated by sexual orientation or gender identity".

The LFP did not wish to comment on this case, but has pointed out its awareness workshops against homophobia, racism and anti-Semitism in all professional clubs.

To date, 89 workshops have been organised in 32 different clubs with players, managers and supporters.

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