Soccer referees have been instructed to take homophobic behavior by fans very seriously, and on Wednesday we saw that in practice.
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) August 28, 2019
One of the banners read “stadiums more gay,” with the word “gay” colored with the rainbow pride flag. Yahoo Sports France tweeted a photo another banner.
— Yahoo Sport France (@YahooSportFR) August 28, 2019
A translation was offered by soccer writer Robin Bairner.
Nice's match with Marseille suspended. Presumably because of this banner.
"Welcome to the Ineos Group: In Nice we also like the p***s" https://t.co/DjCR1CrtnK
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) August 28, 2019
While there is a word in the English language that fits neatly into “p***s,” that’s obviously not the word that was used on the banner. The word is actually a French slang word for “gay.” The Ineos Group, which was mentioned on the banner, recently purchased OGC Nice — in fact, the sale was just announced on Monday.
There is a possible double meaning to the banner. The homophobic word used on the banner can also be translated to mean an actual bike pedal, which makes sense since Ineos is a force in the cycling world — it owns the UCI World Tour, and Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky) has won the Tour de France 5 straight times. But since the word on the banner was colored with the rainbow pride flag, there’s almost no chance anyone was talking about a bike pedal.
The players, who had been taken off the pitch following the suspension of the game, came back onto the field after 10 minutes and resumed playing.
Marseille won 2-1 thanks to Dimitri Payet’s penalty in the 73rd minute.
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