AS Nancy-Le Mans game halted by referee because of homophobic chants

Medi Mokhtari
The match between Nancy and Le Mans was stopped in the 27th minute

French second division side AS Nancy could face disciplinary action after their match against Le Mans was stopped by the referee due to homophobic chanting by a section of fans.

Referee Medi Mokhtari briefly halted the game in the 27th minute at Nancy's Stade Marcel Picot.

Players went over to their fans to ask them to stop, while the stadium announcer warned the game would be suspended.

The match resumed after a minute.

"These songs have no place in a football stadium," said Nancy president Jean-Michel Roussier after the match.

Mokhtari's actions were praised by sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who also commended the LFP, the league's governing body.

"I extend my congratulations to referee Mehdi Mokhtari and the delegate of the LFP (Ligue de Football Professionnel) Alain Marseille who took their responsibilities and decided to interrupt the football match between Nancy and Le Mans for homophobic insults," she tweeted. "It's a first. And a last, I hope."

Marlene Schiappa, France's gender equality minister, tweeted: "Congratulations to referee Mehdi Mokhtari for having bravely interrupted the match against homophobic songs sung at Nancy-Le Mans. Football is an exciting sport. It must remain so for all."

The LFP's disciplinary commission will study the match on Wednesday.

"Delegates and referees apply disciplinary rules against discriminations," said the LFP. "Last April, LFP launched a global action against homophobia in stadiums."

Top Stories