Following the guidelines of a new rule in France, the Ligue 2 game between Nancy and Le Mans was stopped by referee Mehdi Mokhtari due to homophobic chanting by fans on Friday.
Prior to stopping the game, a request made over the stadium’s public-address system was unsuccessful in silencing the abuse. Players also appealed for fans to stop singing the Song in question.
The game was resumed following the brief stoppage, which was described by Eurosport as lasting “about a minute.”
French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu applauded Mokhtari and fellow associates responsible for their decision and actions taken:
“I congratulate the referee Mehdi Mokhtari and the delegate of [Ligue de Football Professionnel] Alain Marseille who took their responsibilities and decided to interrupt the football match between Nancy and Le Mans for homophobic insults. It’s a first. And last one, I hope”
Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men, echoed the same sentiments:
“Congratulations to referee Mehdi Mokhtari for having bravely interrupted the match against homophobic songs sung at Nancy-Le Mans as allowed by the rules. Football is an exciting sport. It must remain so for all.”