Madame Sarkozy Carla Bruni for Versace and Lacroix





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Published on Oct 20, 2008

French football matches will be cancelled if fans jeer the pre-kickoff national anthem, President Sarkozy has decreed, after the Marseillaise was drowned out by mocking whistles at the start of a France-Tunisia friendly at the Stade de France on Tuesday night The incident in Paris, which drew indignation from the political and sports worlds, was the third in which French crowds of immigrant origin have whistled and booed the home team when it played one of the countrys former North African colonies The jeering began as soon as Lââm, a young French pop singer of Tunisian background, began a solo rendition of the Marseillaise. The 50,000 crowd, dominated by fans of Tunisian and North African origin, also chanted Tunisia, Tunisia and booed when French players names were announced before the kick-off After France established a 3-1 lead, many spectators deserted the stadium before the referees final whistle. Television commentators deplored the behaviour of the crowd Mr Sarkozy and the authorities had no time for the standard explanation that the jeering reflected anger among second-generation youths from the immigrant estates over their exclusion from mainstream France. He arrived late at the match and was furious to see the crowd booing French-North African players. This is nothing less than scandalous, he said The jeering was strongest against Hatem Ben Arfa, a France player whose parents came from Tunisia and who refused overtures from the Tunisian Federation to play for their team. Ben Arfa said that he was not upset by the hostile crowd. Im not angry with them, he said. They need to exist, you haSimilar reactions came from some media and internet commentators. The majority of the ones booing are lost kids between 15 and 20. They are not responsible adults, said a comment on the 20 Minutes news siteve to understand them Passing on Mr Sarkozys orders, Rosalyne Bachelot, the Health and Sports Minister, said: Any match when our national anthem is whistled will be stopped immediately. Government members will leave the arena Ms Bachelot was summoned to the Élysée Palace with Jean-Pierre Escalettes, head of the football federation. Mr Escalettes deplored the booing but told Mr Sarkozy that he would not take responsibility for dumping 50,000 people into the street just like that, without warning. Mr Sarkozy said the State would ensure security Bernard Laporte, the junior Sports Minister and former coach of the national rugby union side, suggested that no further matches be played against Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco in Paris until further notice. Lets stop the hypocrisy, he said. We cannot tolerate our Marseillaise being jeered Michèle Alliot-Marie, the Interior Minister, ordered police to track down the worst offenders using television and CCTV footage Mr Sarkozy has long seen rebellion in the football stadiums as a threat to law and order and the nation. As Interior Minister in 2003, he reacted to the jeering of the Marseillaise by bringing in a law that made it an offence to insult the national flag or anthem, on pain of six months in jail and a £6,000 fine Critics at the time called the law unworkable and very few cases have reached the courts Tunisian football fans have caused a lot of upset to be felt when they booed the French national anthem at Tuesday's friendly victory against Tunisia French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other leading politicians have expressed their anger regarding this incident and the leader of France has ordered an investigation into the matter Thierry Henry scored two goals and made sure of Frances 3-1 victory in Paris but this provoked whistling and booing by the opposing sides fans President Sarkozy is reported to have summoned French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes to speak to him about the trouble French Prime Minister François Fillon said the Tunisian fans behaviour was "insulting" and said that if it happens again they will be forced to call of further matches between the two countries There have been past problems between France and other teams like Algeria and Morocco from the North African area, and Sports Minister Bernard Laporte has gone as far as to claim that his country can no longer play friendly matches against teams from the Maghreb region The football team for France will be keeping Raymond Domenech as its coach even though the country made a bad start to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup France have won just one of their opening three qualifying matches after a very disappointing Euro 2008 campaign, and Domenech had been rumoured to be about to lose his position However, French Football Federation boss Jean-Pierre Escalettes maintains that 56-year-old Domenech will be in charge of coaching the team until at least as far as In their Euro 2008 campaign, France took only one point and ended up at the bottom of their group 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

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