BBC BLOGS - Piers Edwards

Archives for May 2011

France's racism row raises questions for the future

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Piers Edwards | 14:21 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

When France won the 1998 World Cup, the success wasn't discussed solely in footballing terms, as many will recall. Instead, countless voices - whether in the media or outside - commended a multicultural team for having helped to harmonise a nation sometimes torn by racial differences.

The Times, for example, credited the success with having "consolidated a new national identity" amongst the French.

But 12 years later, this celebration of France's multicultural ways was apparently no longer so welcome - as investigative website Mediapart discovered.

The claims that the French Football Federation's leading coaches proposed in November 2010 to secretly limit the intake of black and north African players to 30% at certain regional youth training centres, including the renowned Clairefontaine facility, were swiftly dismissed when they first emerged.

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