French football was already is disarray after the players’ strike and the first-round exit of the national team from World Cup 2010. Now, it is mired in allegations of racism.
French football was plunged into turmoil again when the national federation’s (FFF) technical director Francois Blaquart was suspended on Saturday amid a row over an alleged project to enforce racial quotas in youth academies. . .
On Thursday, French investigative website Mediapart (www.mediapart.fr), citing sources within the FFF, said [national technical director François] Blaquart proposed to enforce racial quotas to limit the number of players of black or Arab origin in youth academies.
On Saturday, Mediapart published a verbatim report of a meeting at which Blanc, Blaquart, under-21 coach Erick Mombaerts and under-20 coach Francis Smerecki, among others, had a debate over African players with dual nationality groomed in France eventually opting to play for their country of origin.
France under Sarkozy has never directly confronted the conditions leading up to the 2005 riots in the North African banlieues. And now it is facing facing a reemergence of far-right ideas, with National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen soaring in recent opinion polls.
This year, April in Paris is a feeling we won’t want to reprise.