Chirac condemns politician for racial remarks

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:38 IST

French President Jacques Chirac condemned a Socialist politician for complaining that there are too many black players on the national soccer team.

Chirac condemns politician for racial remarks
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Paris:

French President Jacques Chirac condemned a Socialist politician on Thursday for complaining that there are too many black players on the national soccer team. Georges Freche, from the southern Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, was quoted by a newspaper as saying he was ashamed that up to nine of 11 starters on the French team are black. "It would be normal if there were three or four, that would be a reflection of society," Freche was quoted as saying. "But if there are so many, it's because whites are no good. I'm ashamed for this country. Soon there will be 11 blacks," he said. Chirac issued a stern condemnation. "The republic guarantees the equality of its citizens, with no distinctions about their origins or religion,'' Chirac said in a statement. Laurent Blondiau, a spokesman for Freche, said the politician did not deny making the comments, but added that Freche did not stand by the views he'd expressed. The Socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, demanded Freche be expelled from the party, saying that he'd apparently been converted "to the ideology and rhetoric of the extreme right." (AP)

Topics : Football
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