SHARE
COPY LINK

HOMOPHOBIA

Paris prosecutors investigate Patrice Evra for ‘homophobic insults’

Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation into former France and Manchester United defender Patrice Evra over "homophobic insults" aimed at Paris Saint-Germain, a judicial source told AFP on Monday.

Paris prosecutors investigate Patrice Evra for 'homophobic insults'
Former France football captain Patrice Evra. Photo: AFP

The inquiry follows a complaint lodged last week by two French gay rights groups, Stop Homophobia and Mousse, supported by Red Direct, an association of ex-players of Paris Foot Gay, a former amateur football club.

“This is a great satisfaction for our collective Red Direct,” Julien Pontes, of Red Direct, told AFP, praising “the speed of the reaction of the Paris prosecutor, who decided that the law would apply to Mr Evra”.

Evra used a French homophobic slur while taunting PSG for their shock Champions League defeat by his former club.

Evra made the comments in a video posted on social media, saying: “Paris, you are queers… Here are the real men doing the talking.”

The 37-year-old defended himself on social media after the incident, saying that “he loved everyone” and was not homophobic.

“The words of Patrice Evra, which contrasted 'queers' with 'real men', show a homophobia commonplace in the world of football,” Etienne Deshoulieres, a lawyer for the group, said in a statement.

“This is unacceptable from a former France captain. It must be firmly condemned,” he added.

Evra made 81 appearances for his country.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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.”

SHOW COMMENTS