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Insults tarnish League Cup final

Latest update : 2008-03-30

The mayor of the northern French city of Lens called for a replay of the League Cup final won by Paris Saint Germain, after the latter's fans unfolded an insulting banner branding the inhabitants of northern France "inbred unemployed paedophiles".

Lens mayor Guy Delcourt has asked for Saturday's French League Cup final to be replayed after Paris St Germain supporters unfolded a racist banner during the game at the Stade de France.

"Paedophiles, unemployed, inbred: welcome chez les Ch'tis" read the banner referring to a film about the life of the Ch'tis, a nickname for the people of northern France, which is breaking box office records in France.

The banner was unfolded at the start of the second half of the game won by PSG 2-1 through a controversial penalty scored three minutes into added time.

"Even if we had won the game, I would have asked for a replay," Delcourt, who is also a member of parliament, told a news conference on Sunday.

"I took the banner as an insult to all the people of northern France, to all the mineworkers who died for our country," he added.

"I'm going to file a complaint and I'm asking the judge to hear as a witness President Nicolas Sarkozy and all the ministers who attended the game. We'll go all the way. It's an affair of state."

Lens coach Jean-Pierre Papin asked the French league to impose sanctions on PSG as they did on Metz after Valenciennes' captain Abdeslam Ouaddou was racially abused during a Ligue 1 game last month.

"When I see the banners of the PSG supporters, it hurts," said the former France striker. "Metz were severely punished and
I think PSG should also be severely punished."

Date created : 2008-03-30