Sunday’s Ligue 1 conflict between Paris Saint-Germain and bitter rival Marseille ended with 5 gamers, together with Neymar, being despatched off after a mass brawl within the dying minutes.
As he made his approach off the pitch, Neymar is believed to have informed the fourth official about an alleged incident of racist abuse and after the match claimed he was known as a “monkey son of a b*tch” by Marseille’s Álvaro González.
Gonzalez denies making a comment and the French League’s Disciplinary Committee is assembly on Wednesday to look at the incident.
Neymar subsequently issued a press release by way of social media regretting involvement in a brawl, however including that “racism exists” in soccer.
“Yesterday I revolted,” Neymar says in his assertion. “I was punished with red because I wanted to hit someone who offended me.” Neymar went on to say, “Racism exists. It exists, but we have to stop it. No more. Enough.”
In remarks to French TV channel BFM, Le Graet downplayed racism within the sport.
“When a black guy, forgive me, scores a goal, the whole stadium is standing. So quite frankly, the phenomenon of racism in sport, and in football in particular, does not exist, or [it is] little.”
In response, the FFF says the “polemic” generated by Le Graet’s feedback is “not founded.”
“Our president said there is no more than 1% of racist incidents in amateur football,” it informed Source in a press release. “This is a fact based on the Observatory [CIES Football Observatory] of behavior in amateur football, in collaboration with French authority (ONDRP).
“The final report revealed in 2019 reveals there are 11,335 video games with violent or uncivil incidents out of 700,000 per yr. And 76 video games solely, even whether it is all the time an excessive amount of, have been for racism or different discrimination incidents. So lower than 1%.
“Our president doesn’t ignore there are racism problems in football and he has fought against racism all his life in football and politics … but no sport like football works for diversity and integration.
“And if there are some racism issues in soccer … there isn’t any greater than in society. Maybe much less, clearly much less as a result of soccer places folks collectively. This is what he wish to imply.”
UEFA and FIFA were not immediately available for comment.
It’s not the first time Le Graet has made controversial statements. Back in September 2019, he told radio station France Info that he was “completely towards” the interruption of football matches as a result of homophobic chants and banners, despite rules introduced by the FFF last season instructing referees to do exactly that.
“I might not cease the video games,” he said. “I don’t need to be held hostage on homophobia. There are safety companies to make sure that these banners disappear.”