French LGBTQ group bullying bid to violate a star player’s rights

Monaco's Mohamed Camara
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IN a recent development, the ‘Bleus et Fiers’ (Blue and Proud) association, a French group campaigning against homophobia in football, lodged a complaint on Wednesday against Ligue 1 players Mohamed Camara, Mostafa Mohamed, and Nabil Bentaleb, along with their respective clubs Monaco, Nantes, and Lille, over allegations of “public provocation towards hatred because of sexual orientation.”

The complaint stems from incidents surrounding an anti-homophobia campaign in Ligue 1 on May 19, according to a source close to the case.

Mali midfielder Camara faced disciplinary action from the French League (LFP) after he declined to support the league’s anti-homophobia campaign during a match for Monaco against Nantes. Camara reportedly hid the campaign logo on his shirt and abstained from participating in a group photo behind a banner supporting the LGBTQ community. Despite being banned for four matches by the LFP, the ‘Bleus et Fiers’ association contends that the punishment was insufficient, considering Camara’s actions.

Nantes’ Egyptian forward Mostafa Mohamed allegedly refused to wear the anti-homophobia campaign t-shirt for the second consecutive year, while Lille’s midfielder Bentaleb purportedly avoided posing in front of the LFP’s anti-homophobia banner. The association further accused the players’ clubs of displaying “lack of strong reactions” and “complacency” regarding the matter.

Monaco’s general manager Thiago Scuro attributed Camara’s actions to “religious reasons,” with the club later issuing an apology and hinting at possible internal sanctions against the player.

The complaint also implicates the LFP for failing to report potential criminal behavior related to sexual orientation or gender identity to the public prosecutor.

While the LFP declined to comment on the ongoing case, it highlighted its efforts to combat homophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism through awareness workshops conducted across professional clubs. To date, 89 workshops have been organized involving players, managers, and supporters from 32 different clubs.

The outcome of the complaint could have significant implications for the clubs and players involved, highlighting the ongoing efforts to address discrimination and promote inclusivity in French football.