French minister demands Monaco’s Camara is sanctioned for covering anti-homophobia logo

May 21 – French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has called for “the strongest sanctions” to be taken after one of Monaco’s players deliberately covered up an anti-homophobia message on his shirt in the club’s final league game of the season on Sunday.

The French league staged its annual campaign against discrimination during the weekend’s final round of games with each team wearing a badge featuring the word ‘homophobia’ crossed out.

However, Monaco’s Mali international 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.

Oudéa-Castéra called Camara’s actions “unacceptable” and called for both the player and the club to be punished.

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. “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.”

“First of all, I would like to say that we, as a club, support the operation organised by the league,” said Hutter. “For his part, it was a personal choice. There will be an internal discussion with him about this situation. I will not comment further.”

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 Paris St Germain, refused to participate in a game requiring players to wear shirts with rainbow-colored numbers. Senegal’s president publicly supported Gueye, stating “his religious convictions must be respected.”

Last year, Nantes fined Egyptian striker Mostafa Mohamed for similar reasons.

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