Toulouse suspend African trio who refused to participate in anti-homophobia campaign

A number of Toulouse players have been suspended due to their refusal to participate in the league’s anti-homophobia campaign over the weekend.

Toulouse faced Nantes in the Ligue 1 last weekend as the French first and second tiers celebrated an anti-homophobia campaign. The league-wide initiative to combat homophobia consists of wearing the club kit adorned with rainbow-coloured shirt numbers.

Morocco’s Zakaria Aboukhlal, Farès Chaïbi of Algeria and Mali’s Moussa Diarra are among five players who pulled out of Toulouse’s matchday squad against Nantes in order not to participate in the league-wide initiative.

The club have since announced the players who refused to participate in the anti-homophobia campaign have been sidelined.

“Players of the professional squad have expressed disagreement over the association of their image with rainbow colours representing the LGBT movement”, Toulouse have written in a club statement.

“Although respectful of the individual choices of their players, and after numerous exchanges, Toulouse Football Club has chosen to sideline said players for the game scheduled for this Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Toulouse Stadium.”

The statement concludes that openness is an integral part of the club’s DNA.

“Our players are chosen for their human qualities regardless of their beliefs or convictions. Finally, Toulouse Football Club would like to mention their long-standing commitment to the fight against homophobia and all forms of discrimination.”

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