Game between OGC Nice and Marseille suspended due to homophobic chants

Nice's supporters brandish a banner reading "stadiums more gay," just one of several banners that caused the suspension of the soccer match between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Nice's supporters brandish a banner reading "stadiums more gay," just one of several banners that caused the suspension of the soccer match between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Soccer referees have been instructed to take homophobic behavior by fans very seriously, and on Wednesday we saw that in practice.

The Ligue 1 match between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille in France was suspended in the 25th minute due to homophobic chants, according to the BBC, and also the presence of homophobic banners.

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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.

A translation was offered by soccer writer Robin Bairner.

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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