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FRONT NATIONAL

Far-right blogger fined for anti-gay mayor post

A far-right activist has been fined €6,000 for homophobic remarks about Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë on his blog.

Hervé Lalin, also known as Hervé Ryssen, a retired history teacher and former member of the National Front, was ordered to give €2,000 to Delanoë in damages, and pay €1,500 to cover costs.

As well as the homophobic comments on his blog, Lalin also claimed the police were coming to get him because they knew of his plan to “pulverise” Delanoë.

Lalin was already known to police – in 2004 he was given a four month suspended sentence after throwing a mix of shaving foam and ink at a priest for helping immigrants.

In 2009 he was fined €7,500 for inciting racial hate after publishing anti-Semite posts, and again in February this year for €5,000 after accusing the Jewish community of incest in an article for extreme right journal Rivarol.

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FOOTBALL

‘Not football’s job’ to combat homophobia: French football chief

The head of French football has pulled away from a hardline stance against homophobic chanting and banners in stadiums on Friday, saying that "too many matches" have been stopped due to anti-gay abuse.

'Not football's job' to combat homophobia: French football chief
Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), said that the FFF would not instruct referees to stop matches except in cases when a “whole stadium” was guilty of homophobic chanting.

“I think we're stopping too many matches! That makes certain government ministers happy, but it bothers me. Football can't be taken hostage by vulgarity,” said Le Graet in an interview with newspaper Ouest-France.

Several matches have been temporarily halted in France this season after the French football League (LFP) introduced over the summer plans to tackle fan homophobia during matches, including allowing referees to stop games.

“Matches have been stopped when they shouldn't have been,” Le Graet continued.

“We will stop them if there is consistent homophobic abuse from the whole ground, but if among 30,000 people there are 2,000 imbeciles I don't see why the other 28,000 should be punished.”

Le Graet referred to France's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who in April launched the appeal for matches to be stopped in the event of homophobic abuse, and equalities minister Marlene Schiappa.

Schiappa publicly praised referee Clement Turpin after he stopped Marseille's 2-1 win at Nice for over 10 minutes last month following sustained abusive chanting and banners from home fans, but Le Graet insisted that it wasn't football's job to combat homophobia.

Paris Saint-Germain's match at Metz two days later was also briefly halted for a banner unfurled by the hosts' supporters asking the French league (LFP) to allow them to aim homophobic chants at PSG.

“Did football invent homophobia? You can be a know-it-all when you have got much to say. But there are more important political issues,” he said.

“This crisis will resolve itself. We will work with club presidents, people who don't stick their oar in every morning, who don't want to just look good in front of the television cameras.”

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