Toulouse left some players out of their matchday squad to face Nantes on Sunday after they disagreed with the club taking part in Ligue 1’s campaign against homophobia.
The rainbow has long been associated with the LGBT community and clubs in France’s top two divisions this weekend wore shirts with the colors of the rainbow with the shirts being auctioned off to raise funds for charities fighting LGBT discrimination.
A statement from Toulouse read: “On the occasion of the international day against homophobia, May 17, the Toulouse Football Club and the whole of professional soccer mobilize against homophobia on this 35th day of Ligue 1 Uber Eats.
“However, some players in the professional squad expressed their disapproval regarding the association of their image with the rainbow colors that represent the LGBT movement.
“Although respecting the individual choices of its players, and after several exchanges, Toulouse Football Club has chosen to exclude these players from the game scheduled for this Sunday at 3pm at the Toulouse Stadium.
“Toulouse Football Club would like to remind you that 18 nationalities and 5 continents are represented within its professional team.
“Openness to the world is an important part of the club’s DNA. Our players are chosen for their humane qualities regardless of their beliefs or convictions.
“Finally, Toulouse Football Club would like to remind you of its long-standing commitment to the fight against homophobia and all forms of discrimination.
“For more than two decades now, the Club has created and supported many projects to promote the values of respect, tolerance and sharing.
“Through our Foundation, we will continue to engage every day with our players, employees, volunteers, partners and community to educate, raise awareness and create a peaceful, inclusive and tolerant environment.”
The Athletic Ligue 1 has been contacted for comment.
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