Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

Sarkozy outraged by anti-French jeering during national anthem

©

Latest update : 2008-10-15

French Minister of Sport Roselyne Bachelot declared Wednesday that all French football games were hereafter to be stopped in the event of audience jeering the national anthem, as occurred at Tuesday's France-Tunisia football match.

"Anyone who boos the Marseillaise should not be in France!" Check out this and other strong reactions from internet users

 

France’s Sports Minister, Roselyne Bachelot, announced the decision to suspend all football games where the French national anthem is booed by supporters, after insistent jeers were heard during Tuesday’s friendly win over Tunisia in the landmark Stade de France in Paris.

 

“Every game during which our national anthem, the Marseillaise, is booed or jeered at will be immediately suspended, and members of the government will leave the stadium,” declared Bachelot, adding that France will also suspend future friendly games with the home countries of the insulting supporters.

 

The announcement came after an unscheduled meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes, hastily summoned after the game. Bachelot and the Ministerial Secretary for sports and former rubgy trainer Bernard Laporte were also present. “President Sarkozy wanted to underline his indignation following these scandalous incidents,” said Bachelot.

 

Escalettes acknowledged the decision, but underlined the “security risk” posed by cancelling a game with tens of thousands of spectators. “We can’t just send 50,000 angry spectators to the street without providing the necessary security precautions. The government has guaranteed it will take responsibility for the decision,” he stressed.

 

Penal sanctions for supporters

 

 

In addition to the announced suspensions, French Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie called for harsher sanctions against the offenders. She has asked the Prefect of Seine Saint Denis, who oversees the Stade de France jurisdiction, to officially report the authors of insults against the national anthem to the regional prosecutor, adding that “the investigation can use the videos filmed during the game by the surveillance cameras” installed for that purpose under her ministry. Insulting the national anthem is considered a criminal offence in France.

 

Earlier, on Tuesday, Laporte had suggested on radio RMC that “France should stop handing out the stick used to beat it, therefore stop scheduling games at the Stade de France with countries whose citizens insult France.” His appeal was widely criticised, though, including by people from his own party.

 

“I don’t agree with my colleague’s suggestion to re-locate games against certain nations in smaller towns and stadiums. Although it probably stemmed from a good intention, I believe it would be a mistake,” said Fadela Amara, ministerial secretary for urban affairs, herself the daughter of Algerian immigrants. She agrees with Alliot Marie’s initiative to identify the offenders and sanction them. “These youths must understand that you just can’t do that in France, that their attitude will not be tolerated.”

 


Immigrant unrest ?

 

 

Many of Tuesday’s 60,000 crowd were French citizens of Tunisian descent. Friendlies against North African sides traditionally attract widespread support from sizeable immigrant communities in and around the French capital.

Some booed when the names of the French players were read out over the PA system before kickoff, reaching a crescendo for Hatem Ben Arfa, born in France to Tunisian parents and who opted to play for the country of his birth despite overtures from the Tunisian Federation.

 

The whistling which had accompanied the playing of the French national anthem before kickoff was reminiscent of that which also occurred prior to friendlies with Algeria in 2001 and Morocco in November last year. In 2002, former President Jacques Chirac momentarily left the Stade de France’s presidential box when the Marseillaise was booed by Corsicans in a Lorient-Bastia game. This history has prompted some to claim that the measures announced by the government amount to hot air.

 

“Just calling their attitude scandalous won’t fix anything,” believes Marie-George Buffet, leader of the French communist party, adding that she prefers to focus on what she sees as “the cry of people who are suffering, who don’t feel at home in France.”
 

Date created : 2008-10-15

Comments

COMMENT(S)