Laurent Blanc Cleared Over ‘Racist Quota’ Allegations

Chris Wright

11th, May 2011


By Chris Wright

France coach Laurent Blanc has been cleared of any wrongdoing after a government inquiry was made into allegations of a ‘racist quota’ being put in place to supposedly limit the number of ‘dual-nationality’ (i.e, non-white) players being inducted into French training centres at the ages of 12 and 13.

Mediapart have published transcripts of a secret recording they conducted during the meeting, in which Blanc reportedly supports the idea of quotas, making comments about ‘big, strong, powerful’ black players, favouring players that represent ‘our (France’s) culture, our history’ and allegedly touting Spain as an example of how limiting non-white players could be beneficial: “The Spanish, they say: ‘We don’t have a problem. We have no blacks.'”

Sounds pretty damning to my ear but the sports ministry’s inquiry into the allegations has today concluded that Blanc was not guilty of racial discrimination.

However, the French sports minister, Chantal Jouanno, has said that several comments made in a meeting of football officials to discuss the quota were ‘borderline, tending toward racist’, adding:

“No fact shows Laurent Blanc approves of discriminatory procedures. Blanc was attending this kind of meeting for the very first time. He did not have any project [to limit the number of black and north-African players], no fixed opinion.”

The French Football Federation also had their five-penneth, apologising on Blanc’s behalf and claiming that he ‘is angry with himself and can’t believe he made those comments’.

There we go. Problem sorted.

Posted in FAIL, International football

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  1. Franckyvincent says:

    “dual-nationality (i.e, non-white) ”
    NO ie dual-nationality
    racism in France = new form of Mccarthyism

  2. Peter says:


    Well said, where exactly would French football have been without dual-nationality players? Nowhere. Raymond Kopa, Just Fontaine, Lilian Thuram, Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira. None of those would have been able to play.

  3. Flo says:

    @peter Fontaine? Thuram? are you kidding me? no dual-nationality for them. Thuram is not from africa and fontaine was born in morocco but at that time morocco was french ;)

    You make a mistake between french from other origin and dual nationality too…

  4. John W. says:

    Black players from the French Caribbean (Henry, Thuram, Gallas, Abidal…) are not dual-nationals, so to say this is code for “non-whites” is not accurate. Besides, many white Frenchman have a parent or grandparent from another country, too, giving them dual nationality as well. For this reason, Ludovic Obraniak plays for Poland, and promising youngster Timothée Kolodziejczak might join him. Another dual national, Kévin Gameiro, considered playing for Portugal before choosing France.

  5. John W. says:

    Peter, the proposal wasn’t to *ban* dual-national players, but just to limit them to about 30% of the pool of youngsters brought into the Clairefontaine academy. And even if a budding superstar were not included in that group, he could always be picked for the national side later on. The bottom line is that even if implemented, this wasn’t likely to make much of a change in the makeup of the French team and this whole controversy is a tempest in a teapot.

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