Mali player Camara faces sanctions for covering anti-homophobia badge in Ligue 1 game

AP , Monday 20 May 2024

France's sports minister has called for soccer club Monaco to be sanctioned after one of its players covered over an anti-homophobia message on the team's shirt during the team's final league game on Sunday.

Mohamed Camara
Monaco s Malian midfielder #04 Mohamed Camara (L) passes the ball during the French L1 football match between AS Monaco and FC Nantes at the Louis II Stadium (Stade Louis II) in the Principality of Monaco on May 19, 2024. AFP

The French league staged its annual campaign against discrimination during this weekend's final round with each team wearing a badge featuring the word “homophobia" crossed out.

However, Monaco midfielder Mohamed Camara taped over the badge during his team's 4-0 win over Nantes, and also skipped the pre-match group photo where all players stood before a banner with the same message.

French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra called Camara's actions “unacceptable” and called for “firm sanctions” against both the player and the club.

Aurore Bergé, the French minister of equality, also condemned Camara on social media.

“Homophobia is not an opinion, it’s a crime," she wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “And homophobia kills. There must be strict punishment for Mohamed Camara.”

Monaco coach Adi Hütter said after the game that the club supports the league's initiative and that Camara's actions were "a personal choice.”

The club said it would discuss the situation with Camara internally.

This is the fourth consecutive season that professional clubs in France have been invited to use rainbow-colored numbers, armbands or patches on their shirts to support the LGBTQ movement. Each year, similar controversies arise.

In 2022, Senegalese-born Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye, then playing for PSG, refused to participate in a game requiring players to wear shirts with rainbow-colored numbers. Senegal’s President Macky Sall publicly supported Gueye, stating “his religious convictions must be respected.”

Last year, Nantes fined Egyptian striker Mostafa Mohamed for similar reasons. Mohamed again did not play in Sunday's game. Camara also did not play in the equivalent game last season.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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