Black, blanc and beur: French football’s ‘foreign legion’

The French flag often serves as a symbol of multiculturalism, diversity and equality, yet integration in France is far from complete. Violent riots caused by racist incidents, prominent politicians inciting racial hatred and a sizeable section of the electorate supporting the extreme right, all constitute an integral part of quite a disturbing phenomenon tormenting French society and, subsequently, football as well. Considering that the conduct of football fans in stadiums may reflect society’s norms, this paper examines the impact of racialised political discourse in France against the background of an increasingly multicultural French national football team.


Christos Kassimeris is the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at European University Cyprus

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