French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet says he wants referees not to interrupt matches in the event of homophobic chants, despite new rules introduced by the FFF this season that permit such interruptions.
‘I would not stop the games – totally against this,’ Le Graet told French radio France Info on Tuesday.
Asked if referees would follow his request in this weekend’s matches, Le Graet said: ‘I hope so. ‘We will make sure there are no more (homophobic banners and chants). But stopping a game? – No.’
Several Ligue 1 matches have been briefly interrupted by referees this season because of homophobic chants in the stands, in accordance with new rules the FFF enforced this season.
Nice’s derby match against Marseille was temporarily suspended last month due to banners and chants that were deemed homophobic by referee Clement Turpin.
The Allianz Riviera stadium announcer looked to plead with supporters to end insulting behaviour, but play had to be brought to a halt for 10 minutes so the issue could be resolved
The president does not have the authority to instruct referees to go against the new rules.
The rules were publicly supported by sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who last week said she was ‘astonished’ by previous comments from Le Graet that ‘too many matches’ had been stopped because of incidents of homophobia.