French Sports Minister Calls for Sanctions After Mohamed Camara Covers Anti-Homophobia Badge

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France’s Sports Minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, has called for disciplinary action against AS Monaco after midfielder Mohamed Camara covered an anti-homophobia badge on his jersey during the team’s final league match on Sunday. The incident occurred during Monaco’s 4–0 victory over Nantes.

As part of the French championship’s annual campaign against discrimination, each team wore a badge featuring the word “homophobia” crossed out. This initiative, held during the league’s concluding weekend, aims to promote inclusivity and combat discrimination within the sport.

Camara not only concealed the badge but also abstained from participating in the pre-match group photo, where players stood behind a banner promoting the same anti-homophobia message. Minister Oudéa-Castéra described Camara’s actions as “unacceptable” and demanded “firm sanctions” against both the player and the club. Aurore Bergé, the French Minister of Equal Opportunities, also condemned Camara on social media, emphasizing that “homophobia is not an opinion, it is a crime” and asserting that “homophobia kills. Mohamed Camara must be severely punished.”

In response, Monaco coach Adi Hütter stated that the club supports the league’s initiative and clarified that Camara’s actions were “a personal choice.” The club announced plans to address the matter internally with the player.

This controversy marks the fourth consecutive season that French professional football clubs have participated in an initiative to support the LGBTQ+ community by wearing rainbow-colored numbers, armbands, or badges. Each year, the campaign has sparked similar disputes.

In 2022, Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye, then with Paris Saint-Germain, refused to play in a match that required players to wear rainbow-themed jerseys. His stance received backing from Senegalese President Macky Sall, who asserted that Gueye’s religious beliefs should be respected. Last year, Nantes imposed a fine on Egyptian striker Mostafa Mohamed for similar reasons; he also did not participate in Sunday’s match. Mohamed Camara similarly opted out of the corresponding fixture last season.

This recurring issue underscores the ongoing tension between promoting inclusivity in sports and respecting individual beliefs, highlighting the challenges sports organizations face in balancing these concerns.


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