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French minister wants investigation into FIFA as team attacked by abuse at home and abroad – SABC News

The foul-mouthed taunting of France forward Kylian Mbappe by some Argentine fans amid celebrations in Buenos Aires for the return of the World Cup winners should be investigated by world football’s governing body FIFA, a senior French cabinet minister said.

During Argentina’s jubilant homecoming, a group of fans set fire to a makeshift coffin lid decorated with a cross and a photo of Mbappe. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez also clutched a baby toy with Mbappe’s face on during an open-top bus parade in the capital. Pictures of both of them have been doing the rounds on social media.

Meanwhile, the French Football Federation and an anti-racism charity will file legal complaints against individuals who hurled racist abuse at Mbappe and his teammates on social media following the World Cup final penalty shootout defeat.

Asked about his reaction to Argentina’s insults on social media, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Sud Radio that the scenes were “indecent” and openly questioned whether FIFA should look into the events.
“What is FIFA doing? Sport is fair game,” Le Maire said. “It shows respect for others. It shows respect for those who lost.”

The Argentine embassy in Paris did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mbappe, who turned 24 on the day millions took to the streets of the Argentine capital to give team captain Lionel Messi a heroes’ welcome, spearheaded a brave French comeback, scoring twice in 90 seconds to force extra time. He and other players of African descent, who form the majority of the France squad, received a barrage of racist abuse from a minority of supporters on social media.

SOS Racisme, an anti-racist association, included screenshots of more than 100 hateful comments in a criminal complaint against those behind the remarks. The French Football Federation did the same.

It is an expression of a far-right ideology that says these people should not be considered French,” said Hermann Ebonge, secretary general of SOS Racisme.

He added that the two players who missed their penalties, Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Chuameni, were the most offended and that some of the players had disabled comments on their social media accounts.
The maximum penalty for racist abuse online is one year in prison and a fine of €45,000 ($47,839.50).
SOS Racisme has already asked FIFA to take action against Argentina fans who sang a racist song about Mbappe and the France team before the start of the tournament, and is now examining images coming from Argentina for signs of racism.

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