France set up commission over 'race quotas'

The French Football Federation's internal commision set up to probe allegations concerning race quotas will present their conclusions on Thursday, according to reports in France.

Last week's allegations by the Mediapart website accused senior national team officials, including head coach Laurent Blanc, of plotting to introduce quotas limiting the numbers of ethnic minority players in the France side.

L'Equipe reported today that a meeting of the FFF's federal council has been convened for next Thursday to hear the outcome of the inquiry into the affair, with the commission's interview with Blanc having been delayed until early next week having originally been scheduled for yesterday.

Sports minister Chantal Jouanno will await the commission's conclusions before determining what action, if any, will be taken but told Sud-Radio this morning: "The idea of quotas is completely idiotic and has no place in the sport.

"It is an absolute nonsense, the only thing which counts is to pick the best players from a physical and mental point of view."

FFF president Fernand Duchaussoy claimed last night that he had been prompted to address the issue ahead of the commission's final summary after the issue threatened to place "the honour of a sport" under scrutiny.

In an impassioned statement on the organisation's website, he said: "The honour of football is to be against all forms of selection which do not deal exclusively with sporting matters. It is to say and demonstrate that the word 'quota' cannot be applied when it designates ethnicity or race. Neither scouting nor training can be filtered on racial grounds.

"The honour of football is also a principle: the freedom to choose. French football has no call to overcome the established rules and must respect this freedom. The choice of a dual-qualified player is sovereign.

"Football is a universal, democratic and indiscriminate sport, a ground for the creation of social links. The idea of rejecting this goes against its popular and universal essence.

"Accusing football of racism is hurtful to thousands of trainers who, all over the country, commit their time and energy to clubs and young footballers with no discrimination by race, religion or nationality.

"Hundreds of thousands of youngsters from all backgrounds find, in football, a chance to integrate. This is why I fight, and will continue to fight, for the honour of football."

On the date of Blanc's hearing, Jouanno later insisted to L'Equipe: "I have promised confidentiality to Laurent Blanc, so I won't say where or when he will be interviewed."

The alleged quotas would limit the number of black players and those of north African origin entering national training centres and academies at the age of 12.

Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis - born in France to Senegalese parents - won five caps for Les Bleus between 2008 and 2009 and said: "I chose to play for France despite the origins of my parents. I feel that France is my country and I dream of being called up again.

"What is important for French football is to be winning World Cups, regardless of the colour of the players in the side. But it's true that you must consider yourself French to play for the France team."

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup