Referees Take a No-Tolerance Stance on Homophobia
In France, niceness truly wasn’t one of the characteristics of the team’s supporters at a match against Marseille.
Directly after unfurling multiple homophobic banners during the matched, the referee pulled playing time to a halt and temporarily suspended play on Wednesday.
Referee Clement Turpin stopped play in the first half as players were then escorted off the pitch following the new no-tolerance stances FIFA has taken with fans and all those accompanying the game. At Nice's Allianz Riviera stadium, the banner targeted the French football league in their organization of more fenced off sections in the stadium—the fans suggested the stadiums would become more “gay” in a derogatory sense.
The banner, displaying a homophobic slur, went against what all players and coaches at the game stood for—passion, not hate.
Nice Manager Patrick Vieira, agreed with the referee in his decision to stop the match and hopes that this sort of behavior doesn’t continue in Nice or other stadiums around the world. Unfortunately, however, this wasn’t the first time an incident like this occurred, with a similar match suspension in the Nancy-Le Mans game.