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Sun 1 May 2011 07:02 PM

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Blaquart suspended in France race row over Arab quotas

FFF director removed from post over claims he agreed to racial quotas in national football squads

Blaquart suspended in France race row over Arab quotas
François Blaquart, the technical director of the French Football Federation, has been suspended over allegations of racism
Blaquart suspended in France race row over Arab quotas
France football coach Laurent Blanc

The technical director of the French Football Federation has been suspended over allegations he planned to limit the number of Arab and other non-white children accepted in youth academies.

France's sports minister Chantal Jouanno said François Blaquart had been removed from his post pending an investigation into claims the FFF agreed to racial quotas in national training squads.

The story, which emerged from the French investigative website Mediapart, reported that Blaquart and France coach Laurent Blanc approved proposals to limit the number of players of Arab and African descent to 30 percent once they reached 13-years of age.

"We can mark out, in an unspoken way, a sort of quota. But it needs to remain unspoken," Blaquart was quoted as saying by Mediapart.

At a meeting in November, Blanc was reported as saying selection criteria should be changed to favour players with “our culture, our history”.

Blanc has since said he was only raising the issue of dual nationality that sees players train under France’s national schemes and then play for their country of origin.  

In a statement released Saturday to The Guardian, Blanc said: “I do not withdraw what I said yesterday. I admit that some remarks made during a work meeting, taken out of their context, may be misinterpreted and, as far as I am concerned, I apologise if I have hurt some feelings. But I, who am against any form of discrimination, do not stand being accused of racism or xenophobia."

The meeting only meant to “discuss the future of French football and deal with the delicate problem of players with dual nationality..." he said.

The FFF's investigation into the claims is expected to be completed within eight days.

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Paolo C 9 years ago

Is that bad? Please explain me what all those black players seen in french or english teams have to do with the respective countries? Absolutely nothing! It's only a matter of business. Any good sport guy in Europe is given a citizenship, that is a fraudelent practice. The same way we can expect that countries like UAE, Qatar and so on have players from around the world and the only Emiratis or Qataris are those sitting on the bench. Is that fair or representative of a country? No!