French Racism Storm Blacked Out by British Press?

by admin

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Laurent Blanc has today been cleared of any wrongdoing in the ongoing race scandal that is threatening to tear the French Football Federation apart. Race scandal? Yeah, you know, the race scandal in French football? You don’t know?! What a surprise.


Allow me. There has been a massive uproar in France this past week about the fact that a French website reported that members of the FFF’s technical board had met in November and discussed introducing race quotas at French football academies. The aim of this, apparently, was to protect the French from losing players to other nations when it came to playing international fixtures. The ‘thought’ process goes that if you train too many players from ethnic backgrounds other than full-blooded French, there is a chance they will opt to play for their ancestral team rather than for les Bleus. And with France having a large population of people of North African and Central African descent, they are naturally in peril of losing a lot of players.


Perhaps the next Zidane will high-tail it to play for Algeria? Or maybe the future Marcel Desailly will choose Ghana over the country that spent all that money making him the footballer he now is? The FFF even created a graph to show, at each age level between under-16 and under-21, what percentage of the players were susceptible at any time to play for another sporting nation. They were genuinely so frightened that they got statisticians involved.


Unfortunately, for those present at the aforementioned meeting at any rate, a technical advisor by the name of Mohamed Belkacemi was unmoved by the prospect of such an idea, and took the liberty of noting down some of the exchanges. His evidence included National Technical Director François Blaquart talking-up the quota and suggesting it be an unwritten rule, while Blanc was quoted as saying, ‘The Spanish, they told me ‘we don’t have a problem. Us, we don’t have any blacks.’ ‘


The quite unbelievable fact that this act of blatant institutional racism has occurred at the highest level of French football, however, seems to have failed to make many waves this side of the Channel. Instead, news agencies will today be covering the former FA Chairman Lord Triesman’s claims that FIFA members were after bribes in return for their vote at the World Cup bid. Shock horror. Anybody would have thought that people were under the impression that FIFA was full of genuine, football loving demi-gods sent to this earth with the sole purpose of keeping honour and order in the game. But Triesman coming out with this changes everything. I’ll never look at Sepp Blatter the same way again.


It is, in fact, a long way short of even mildly newsworthy. However a nation united by winning the World Cup in ’98 with a team of players from all parts of its racial make-up returning to clandestine racism, now that is surely worthy of world-wide attention.


So is it that they find the idea so outrageous that they can’t bring themselves to write about it? Or is it more likely that Triesman’s sensationalised stories will sell more papers. You can be the judge of that.


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  • billy

    that’s the British media for you!

    I’m sure there’s more the Bin Larden death that meets the eye but we will never know!

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