Monday, 5th June 2023
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Two Ligue 1 players refuse to play in protest at anti-homophobia campaign

Toulouse's Zakaria Aboukhlal and Nantes' Mostafa Mohamed were omitted from the teamsheet for the Ligue 1 clash between the two clubs on Sunday after refusing to participate in a campaign against homophobia.

Mostafa Mohamed

Toulouse’s Zakaria Aboukhlal and Nantes’ Mostafa Mohamed were omitted from the teamsheet for the Ligue 1 clash between the two clubs on Sunday after refusing to participate in a campaign against homophobia.

All teams in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 this weekend have shirts featuring numbers in rainbow colours as part of the initiative. The captains’ armbands are similarly coloured.

Moroccan Aboukhlal, a regular starter for Toulouse, sat out the game because he refused to wear the jersey, according to La Depeche du Midi newspaper, which added that Logan Costa and Fares Chaibi also did not want to play although they were both named on the teamsheet.

Mohamed, an Egyptian, also refused to wear the jersey, a source close to his Nantes team said.

Guingamp’s Senegalese defender Donatien Gomis ruled himself out of the Ligue 2 clash with Sochaux on Saturday for the same reason, club sources there said.

As part of the elite French leagues’ annual anti-homophobia campaign, the rainbow-adorned shirts will be sold at auction with the proceeds going to three charities active in fighting LGBTQ discrimination.