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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The big football game is back on- Paris Foot Gay vs Creteil Bebel

On Saturday, I did a blog posting for Lib Dem Voice titled Muslims won't play with the gays, talking about two amateur football teams, Creteil Bebel and Paris Foot Gay who were due to play each other last weekend.

The two teams are Creteil Bebel, a Muslim team and Paris Foot Gay are a gay friendly team set up to combat homophobia in the suburbs of Paris.

Well, there appears to be an update now, Creteil Bebel director Zahir Belgharbi said there had been "a misunderstanding" and said his team were now ready to play against Paris Foot Gay.

The Director said: "We had rejected playing this match not on the grounds of homophobia, as we have been accused of doing, but simply because the name of the club did not seem to us to reflect our vision of sport."

I have no idea what that means and it sounds the lamest excuse I have ever heard. Sport has nothing to do with people's religion nor their sexuality. Paris Foot Gay seems to have been around at least two and a half years and perhaps before the Muslim team announced their refusal to play the team last week their Directors should have done a wee bit of research.

"We reacted by turning down the invitation from Paris Foot Gay for fear of it leading to an instrumentalisation on the part of this club in that it was highlighting the homosexuality of its players."

Again, another load of rubbish, football teams in leagues play against each other, it never means that one team's philosophy/name/town etc is highlighted more than on the match day programme. Also, just by a quick search on the Paris Foot Gay website shows that only some of the players are gay, it is a gay friendly football team set up to combat homophobia.

The local league president Jacques Stouvenel has said that both clubs were due to attend a meeting over the incident this week and that Creteil Bebel could face disciplinary action or be kicked out of the league.

My personal view is that some formal warning is all that is needed, they have now offered to play Paris Foot Gay and that should be accepted in the spirit in which it appears to have been intended.

Kicking Creteil Bebel out of this amateur league will not serve any purpose, either short term or long term. Let us hope the directors and and players of Creteil Bebel have learnt an important lesson this week.

Homophobia won't be tolerated, the same as racism. Not in sport, not in life.

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