PARIS (Reuters) – The coaches of Nice and Olympique Marseille and France’s equality minister have all praised the referee who interrupted the Ligue 1 match on Wednesday because of homophobic banners in the home crowd.France’s equality minister Marlene Schiappa said the banners had sullied the stands while Nice coach Patrick Vieira said referee Clement Turpin had been left with “no choice.”Play was stopped in the first half for around 10 minutes and players left the field over the banners displayed by Nice fans.French media also reported homophobic chanting during the match which Marseille won 2-1.One banner referred to Tuesday’s takeover of Nice by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, who also owns the Team Ineos cycling team. The banner used the word “pedale” which means “to pedal” but is also a derogatory term used to define gay people.Another banner read: “More fans in the stands means a more gay stadium.”“The referee was right to stop the match,” said Vieira, the former Arsenal and France midfielder.“These things are unacceptable. The message was clear, and the referee didn’t have a choice. He could have maybe given us a bit more time to go and see the supporters and to ask them to remove the banner. But he explained things to me that I fully understand. “I hope that this won’t happen again, in Nice or in any stadium.”Vieira’s opposite number Andre Villas-Boas agreed the referee made the “right decision”.Schiappa said in a Tweet that Nice fans had ignored “several requests” to withdraw the banners.“Football is passion, not hate,” she said.The French league has promised to crack down on homophobic chanting this season which has already seen a second tier match between Nancy and Le Mans interrupted.Homophobic chanting is deeply ingrained in some Latin American countries, especially when the visiting goalkeeper runs up to take a goal kick, and FIFA dealt with several dozen cases during the qualifying competition for the 2018 World Cup.Mexico were sanctioned 12 times — two warnings and 10 fines — while Chile were on three occasions ordered to play away from their National Stadium, although they simply moved the games to alternative arenas in Santiago. However, there were no cases of matches being interrupted.
English Premier League football club AFC Bournemouth has confirmed that it has terminated its current sponsorship agreement with online gambling group Mansion’s subsidiary, M88.The sponsorship termination comes as the predominantly Asian-facing brand is reported to be under investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).Bournemouth had previously secured a two-year partnership with the online operator, which was then extended in May 2019 as part of a club-record deal.The agreement saw M88 featured on the front of the club’s home, away and third shirts, and training wear in a deal worth approximately £5 million per season.Thanking the online operator for its support, the team revealed that it will play the remaining games in the 2019/20 season campaign in new training wear and playing kits. The sleeve sponsorship with parent company Mansion is said to be unaffected.Following the announcement, the Daily Mail reported that the Cherries could be considering a ‘thank you’ message to COVID-19 frontline medical staff, but any sponsorship agreement would require approval from the Premier League. Related Articles EPIC and Whysup ‘continue to make real change’ with partnership renewal August 19, 2020 MansionBet adds Bristol City to sponsorship portfolio August 20, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Share ‘Pent-up demand’ for live sports drives gambling pick-up in June August 17, 2020 Submit
On the principle of “Return on Success”: The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is “return on success.” The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home. And in all we do, I will ensure that our commanders on the ground have the troops and flexibility they need to defeat the enemy. On coming together as a Nation to support this mission: Americans want our country to be safe, and our troops to begin coming home from Iraq. Yet those of us who believe success in Iraq is essential to our security, and those who believe we should bring our troops home, have been at odds. Now, because of the measure of success we are seeing in Iraq, we can begin seeing troops come home. The way forward I have described tonight makes it possible, for the first time in years, for people who have been on opposite sides of this difficult debate to come together. On an enduring relationship with Iraq that requires many fewer American troops: This vision for a reduced American presence also has the support of Iraqi leaders from all communities. At the same time, they understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic, and security engagement that extends beyond my Presidency. These Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America. And we are ready to begin building that relationship – in a way that protects our interests in the region and requires many fewer American troops. On why we must succeed: The success of a free Iraq is critical to the security of the United States. Realizing this vision will be difficult – but it is achievable. Our military commanders believe we can succeed. Our diplomats believe we can succeed. And for the safety of future generations of Americans, we must succeed. Whatever political party you belong to, whatever your position on Iraq, we should be able to agree that America has a vital interest in preventing chaos and providing hope in the Middle East. We should be able to agree that we must defeat al Qaeda, counter Iran, help the Afghan government, work for peace in the Holy Land, and strengthen our military so we can prevail in the struggle against terrorists and extremists. So tonight I want to speak to Members of the United States Congress: Let us come together on a policy of strength in the Middle East. I thank you for providing crucial funds and resources for our military. And I ask you to join me in supporting the recommendations General Petraeus has made, and the troop levels he has asked for. On the gains we are making in Iraq: Some say the gains we are making in Iraq come too late. They are mistaken. It is never too late to deal a blow to al Qaeda. It is never too late to advance freedom. And it is never too late to support our troops in a fight they can win.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! On the success of the surge: The premise of our strategy is that securing the Iraqi population is the foundation for all other progress… The goal of the surge is to provide that security – and to help prepare Iraqi forces to maintain it. As I will explain tonight, our success in meeting these objectives now allows us to begin bringing some of our troops home. On political progress: Now the Iraqi government must bring the same determination to achieving reconciliation. This is an enormous undertaking after more than three decades of tyranny and division. The government has not met its own legislative benchmarks – and in my meetings with Iraqi leaders, I have made it clear that they must. Yet Iraq’s national leaders are getting some things done. For example, they have passed a budget. They are sharing oil revenues with the provinces… And local reconciliation is taking place. The key now is to link this progress in the provinces to progress in Baghdad. As local politics change, so will national politics. Tonight President Bush will address the Nation from the Oval Office to lay out his plan for the way forward in Iraq. Below are early excerpts from the President’s Address: On keeping us safe here at home: In Iraq, an ally of the United States is fighting for its survival. Terrorists and extremists who are at war with us around the world are seeking to topple Iraq’s government, dominate the region, and attack us here at home. This ally has placed its trust in the United States. And tonight, our moral and strategic imperatives are one: We must help Iraq defeat those who threaten its future – and also threaten ours.