Noel Le Graet: Following alleged incident of abuse, French Soccer president claims racism in soccer ‘doesn’t exist’

Sunday’s Ligue 1 conflict between Paris Saint-Germain and bitter rival Marseille ended with 5 gamers, together with Neymar, being despatched off after a mass brawl within the dying minutes.

As he made his means off the pitch, Neymar is believed to have informed the fourth official about an alleged incident of racist abuse and after the match claimed he was referred to as a “monkey son of a b*tch” by Marseille’s Álvaro González.

Gonzalez denies making a comment and the French League’s Disciplinary Committee is assembly on Wednesday to look at the incident.

Neymar subsequently issued a press release by social media regretting involvement in a brawl, however including that “racism exists” in soccer.

“Yesterday I revolted,” Neymar says in his assertion. “I used to be punished with pink as a result of I needed to hit somebody who offended me.” Neymar went on to say, “Racism exists. It exists, however we have now to cease it. No extra. Sufficient.”

In remarks to French TV channel BFM, Le Graet downplayed racism within the sport.

“Racism in France … in a complete match there could also be some discrepancies, however we have now lower than one % of difficulties as we speak,” Le Graet informed French TV channel BFM.

“When a black man, forgive me, scores a aim, the entire stadium is standing. So fairly frankly, the phenomenon of racism in sport, and in soccer particularly, doesn’t exist, or [it is] little.”

In response, the FFF says the “polemic” generated by Le Graet’s feedback is “not based.”

“Our president mentioned there isn’t a greater than 1% of racist incidents in beginner soccer,” it informed CNN in a press release. “It is a truth based mostly on the Observatory [CIES Football Observatory] of habits in beginner soccer, in collaboration with French authority (ONDRP).

“The final report printed in 2019 reveals there are 11,335 video games with violent or uncivil incidents out of 700,000 per yr. And 76 video games solely, even whether it is at all times an excessive amount of, had been for racism or different discrimination incidents. So lower than 1%.

“Our president would not ignore there are racism issues in soccer and he has fought towards racism all his life in soccer and politics … however no sport like soccer works for variety and integration.

“And if there are some racism issues in soccer … there isn’t a greater than in society. Perhaps much less, clearly much less as a result of soccer places folks collectively. That is what he want to imply.”

UEFA and FIFA weren’t instantly out there for remark.

There have been quite a lot of racist incidents in European soccer in current months, together with in Italy’s Serie A, Ukraine, the English Premier League and throughout worldwide fixtures.

It isn’t the primary time Le Graet has made controversial statements. Again in September 2019, he informed radio station France Data that he was “completely towards” the interruption of soccer matches because of homophobic chants and banners, regardless of guidelines launched by the FFF final season instructing referees to do precisely that.

“I’d not cease the video games,” he mentioned. “I don’t wish to be held hostage on homophobia. There are safety companies to make sure that these banners disappear.”

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