A French gay rights group said on Wednesday it had launched legal action against Amazon Prime for offering on streaming replay a football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille in which homophobic chants were audible. During the September 24 match between the bitter Ligue 1 rivals, thousands of PSG supporters chanted homophobic slogans referring to their opponents. An AFP reporter covering the game said the chanting in PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium went on for around 10 minutes.
Four PSG players, including Randal Kolo Muani and Ousmane Dembele, were given suspended one-match bans for also chanting insults directed at the Marseille players while celebrating their 4-0 thrashing of their opponents.
A lawyer for the LGBT Families group said it had filed a criminal complaint against Amazon Prime for offering the game on replay, noting that while broadcasters are not responsible for offensive content that may occur during a live match they are liable for content offered on replay.
The complaint says that during the replay, “you can hear several chants from fans coming from the stands, some of which are distinctly homophobic in nature.”
Two other LGBT rights groups, Mousse and Stop Homophobie, have said they will also join the complaint against Amazon for public insults and incitement to hatred or violence against people based on their sexual orientation.
Amazon said that the match was no longer available on Prime Video at the time the complaint was announced and that, as a broadcaster, it did not condone the comments or behaviour of certain fans.
“Homophobia has no place in sport or in society, and we condemn it, like all forms of discrimination, in the strongest possible terms”, an Amazon spokesperson told AFP.
‘Set an example’
The four PSG players sanctioned last month over the chants — Kolo Muani, Dembele, Achraf Hakimi and Layvin Kurzawa — apologised for their behaviour, saying they got “carried away” by their trouncing of Marseille and promised in future to “respect our duty to set an example.”
PSG for its part was ordered to close the Auteuil stand of the Parc des Princes for one game.
The Rouge Direct (Straight Red Card) group, which campaigns against homophobia in sport, backed the complaint against Amazon Prime as part of what it called the “fight against the trivialisation of homophobia in football”.
It said that Amazon Prime had promised, following an earlier complaint this year, to stop broadcasting homophobic chants during replays, and accused the streaming giant of betraying its word.
A poll published in September by the Federation Sportive LGBT+ association, showed homophobia continued to be rampant in French sport, with 46 percent of those questioned said they themselves had seen homophobic or transphobic behaviour in sports.
Last season several Ligue 1 players refused an invitation to wear rainbow-coloured insignia on their jerseys as a gesture against homophobia, a campaign supported, however, by the vast majority of players.
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