The president of the French Football Federation (FFF) Philippe Diallo reaffirmed Monday in an interview with AFP his support for Mike Maignan, victim of racist insults on Saturday in Italy, explaining that it was necessary to fight against this phenomenon through awareness-raising actions and individual sanctions, the strongest possible. “I think Mike Maignan did the right thing by deciding to leave the field, because he showed that we cannot accept the unacceptable,” he declared. “It is unacceptable for a player of color to be insulted, to make monkey noises at him, to deny his quality as a man and I noted with satisfaction the unity of the team of France which unanimously showed its support.”
The president of the “3F”, the largest sports federation in France with its 2.3 million members, indicated that his preference was for a sanction “as individualized as possible” rather than a collective sanction against of a club, like a defeat on the green carpet for teams whose supporters are guilty of racism, which Gianni Infantino, the president of Fifa, called for this weekend.
“I have in mind this Nancy-Red Star match where the match was interrupted because there was someone insulting the Red Star players. The Nancy club filed an immediate complaint and managed to identify who was making these cries. The Federation joined forces with Nancy and the individual was arrested and sanctioned,” explained Diallo. On the duration of a stadium ban, Philippe Diallo advocates the greatest firmness: “A pseudo-supporter should not be banned from a stadium for 15 days. It's much longer. Maybe we should even tell him that he has nothing more to do with his life in a football stadium because it is so far removed from the values that we are trying to promote.
Through the societal commitment plan launched in October, aimed in particular at combating all forms of violence and discrimination, recalls Philippe Diallo, the Federation intends to “put in place human and financial resources to increase our action in terms of awareness, to very strictly implement the rules and protocols that already exist in the professional world, the temporary or permanent stopping of a match for example, and to sanction sportingly a team whose supporters or pseudo-supporters have acted badly ".
The president of the FFF also asked his lawyers to imagine precautionary measures to ban stadiums, even before the courts deliver their verdict. “Perhaps in a few years, the justice system will disavow me, but I feel that it is my responsibility to protect our young licensees,” he explained. There are families who entrust us with their young girl or boy to play football. They must do it with serenity.