Mali’s Mohamed Camara suspended four matches for hiding an anti-homophobia badge

The French league suspended Monaco midfielder Mohamed Camara for four games after he covered up an anti-homophobia statement on the team’s shirt during the club’s final league game of the season.

The French league’s disciplinary committee issued a statement late Thursday (May 30) sanctioning the Mali international for refusing to “carry out one or more actions to raise awareness of the fight against homophobia.”

The French league held its annual anti-discrimination campaign during the weekend’s final round, with each team wearing a badge with the word “homophobia” struck out. Camara taped over the badge during his team’s 4-0 victory over Nantes, and he also skipped the pre-match group photo, which had all players standing in front of a banner with the same message.

French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra deemed Camara’s actions “unacceptable” and demanded “firm sanctions” against both the player and the club.

Monaco coach Adi Hütter stated following the game that the club supports the league’s initiative and that Camara’s actions were “a personal choice.”

This was the fourth straight season when professional clubs in France were invited to wear rainbow-colored numbers, armbands, or patches on their shirts to support the LGBTQ movement. Every year, similar debates emerge.

In 2022, Senegalese-born Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who was then playing for PSG, declined to take part in a game where players had to wear rainbow-colored shirts. Senegal’s President Macky Sall openly backed Gueye, saying, “His religious convictions must be respected.”

Last year, Nantes penalized Egyptian attacker Mostafa Mohamed for the same reasons. Mohamed did not play in Sunday’s game. Camara also did not participate in the equivalent game previous season.

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