French Sports Minister demands severe penalties for AS Monaco over LGBTQ badge incident

French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera

21st May 2024 – (Hong Kong) French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has called for stringent disciplinary measures against AS Monaco midfielder Mohamed Camara and the club itself following the concealment of an LGBTQ support badge. The badge was obscured with white tape during Monaco’s final league game of the season against Nantes, a match that saw Camara score from the penalty spot in a 4-0 victory.

The incident, which took place on Sunday, has drawn sharp criticism from various quarters, including the highest levels of French sporting administration. Speaking to RTL, a French radio station, Oudea-Castera expressed her disapproval of the actions taken by Camara and the club. “It is unacceptable behaviour,” she stated, advocating for “the strongest sanctions” against both the player and AS Monaco.

The league had initiated a campaign to support the LGBTQ community, and all teams were expected to participate. Monaco’s coach, Adi Hutter, addressed the issue after the game, confirming the club’s support for the league’s initiative but describing Camara’s act as a “personal initiative.” Hutter indicated that the matter would be addressed internally and declined to comment further.

This controversy comes at a pivotal moment for AS Monaco, which secured second place in Ligue 1 this season, trailing behind Paris Saint-Germain. This position ensures their participation in the upcoming Champions League group stage. However, the incident has overshadowed their on-field success, highlighting the ongoing challenges sports clubs face in managing players’ personal beliefs with public commitments to diversity and inclusion.