Homophobic chanting should not stop games, says French Football Federation head Noel Le Graet
Last Updated: 10/09/19 12:15pm
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet says he does not want referees to interrupt matches if there are homophobic chants, despite new rules introduced by the FFF this season that permit such interruptions.
A Ligue 2 match between Nancy and Le Mans was also temporarily stopped earlier in August but Le Graet, who is on the FIFA Council, believes interrupting play is misguided.
"I would not stop the games - totally against this," Le Graet told French radio station France Info on Tuesday.
The French football league set up an action plan to tackle homophobia in its stadium in May, with Ligue 1 president Nathalie Boy de la Tour confirming at the time referees could stop games.
Asked if referees would follow his request in this weekend's matches, Le Graet said: "I hope so.
"We will make sure there are no more (homophobic banners and chants). But stopping a game? - No."
The president does not have the authority to instruct referees to go against the new rules.
Addressing the fans responsible of the chanting, Le Graet added: "Do not come to the stadium with banners, it's as simple as that.
"You can support your team, but [homophobia is] absolutely wrong morally."
The rules were publicly supported by French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who last week said she was "astonished" by previous comments from Le Graet that "too many matches" had been stopped because of incidents of homophobia.