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French first as 'homophobic chants' stop football game

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By Angela Barnes
Referee Mehdi Mokhtari was praised for his action
Referee Mehdi Mokhtari was praised for his action

A football match in France was halted on Friday over what the country's equality minister described as homophobic chants.

Referee Mehdi Mokhtari stopped the second-tier game between Nancy and Le Mans shortly before half-time.

The match resumed after Nancy players asking their fans to calm down.

The chants were directed at league authorities (La Ligue), reported AFP news agency.

France's Secretary of State for Equality, Marlene Schiappa, reacted to the incident on Twitter.

She tweeted: "Congratulations to referee Mehdi Mokhtari for bravely interrupting the match, as allowed by the regulation, in the face of homophobic songs sung at Nancy-Le Mans. Football is a passionate sport. It must remain so for everyone."

The Secretary of State for Equality between women and men reacted to the incident

Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, also sung Mokhtari's praises on social media for taking the decision to halt the game.

She said: "I address my congratulations at referee Mehdi Mokhtari and the delegation of Alain Marseille who took their responsibilities and decided to interrupt the football match between Nancy and Le Mans for homophobic insults. This is a first and a last, I hope."

Roxana Maracineanu praised Mehdi Mokhtari for his actions

Nancy won the game 2-1.

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