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Laurent Blanc isn’t racist and gets to keep his job

Noir or Blanc – it don’t matter


Well, we got that wrong didn’t we? Last week The Spoiler said that Laurent Blanc was as good as sacked as France boss following comments he made in a private meeting that were subsequently made non-private.

Since then though, French Sports minister, Chantal Jouanno, has dismissed the claims that Blanc is racist and an inquiry also found the ‘quota system’ that was discussed hadn’t been put in place and there was no evidence to suggest it ever would be…

The Spoiler told you about the comments that Blanc made last week. Comments that Jouanno said were:

“Both clumsy and clearly uncalled-for.”

Clearly. Anyway, he’s been deemed not racist and, as we said, the investigation also cleared him wanting a quota-system for dual-nationality players.

However, there seems to be some confusion over the quota system and what the problems with it were. Firstly, it’s NOT about black players or non-white players – it’s about players who can play for more than one country. Here’s how Paul Doyle succinctly explained it in his tip-top Guardian blog:

“Consider this: a boy called, say, Marmaduke, is born in London. His father is Japanese, his mother is German. By his mid-teens he’s such a good footballer that England U-16s are considering picking him and the FA is contemplating giving him a place in its elite training academy (this is the future, see, and England has such a thing).

“However, there is only one place available and there is another equally talented candidate, who was also born in London but to exclusively English parents and grandparents, which means that, unlike with Marmaduke, there is no prospect of him choosing to play for Japan or Germany at a later date (unless, of course, he goes to live there and acquires a passport under naturalisation laws). Which player should the FA give the place to? How should the decision be made?”

As Doyle said in his piece, the alleged racist comments and the quota thing seem to have got muddled in people’s minds and have become one issue. Actually, they are two very separate issues – both of which Blanc has been cleared of any wrong-doing regarding.


6 responses so far
  • JamJam // May 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    This whole “scandal” does bring up a very valid point in what Paul Doyle said. What would England do if faced with that same possibility with kids selected for the new elite training academy? In addition to that, what if say England had the choice of 2 kids, one was multinational and the other was fully English for 1 place and the fully English kid got the place but later on turned out to be bad. One example would be someone like Francis Jeffers. And then that multinational kid became amazing but because England said no to him when he was young, he would not choose to play for england. Thus loosing out on the best talent.
    What would happen then?

  • phil // May 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I am fully in agreement. Because we lost out on Marouane Chamakh and Moussa Sow, we should also give up on Samir Nasri and Karim Benzema. Brilliant.

  • Simon // May 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    France was the only nation to bring 2 teams at the world cup, with Algeria counting 75% of their players born and footballed in France. But it’s not clear which of this teams was actually the ‘B’ one.

  • tonyspeed // May 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    This is a diversionary tactic to avoid the racist claims.

  • nar // May 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Doyle is right of course and he does a great job of making it easily digestible.

    FIFA made this problem even worse when they allowed U players to shop around before they play for the senior squad. If youve played U-15,U-17, U-21, you shouldnt get to play the ‘I miss my homeland’ card but at least I can understand how a player who left as a child might be swayed by family but if many countries have this idiotic ‘if a parent or grandparent is born here,you can play for us’ rules.
    Sorry but this is utter BS. If you are born in Romania, that’s where you should play on the NT. Just because your parents or grandparents come from Russia or China should give you no right to claim to play for those countries.

    That said, the race thing definitely comes into play when you see France play Magreb countries like Tunisia IN France and the MAJORITY of people boo heavily the french anthem. Those events cloud peoples views. And living in places like Marseille, where french is the 2ND most used language in the city, you realize that the allegiances to foreign countries is even stronger.

    France will be muslim by 2050 and the problems there will not get better. The suburbs are ghettos that make one yearn for the Bronx 20yrs ago, the annual national holiday car burning festival is now officially treated like Colonel Clink would … I see nothing.

    The racism thing is never far and by the way, its not a one way street. (Anyone who claims that is a total hypocrite.) Problem is that among that racism there is the real problem of investing time and money into players who might work out and then decide they want to play for another country.
    Im not sure how you go about to limit the amount of players who could defect the program but having a group of zero risk players (who can only play for one country) will always constitute a risk and you ask youself how much of a risk are you willing to take.
    if 100% of your players on a youth selection have dual passports, you are taking a VERY high risk.
    Having 10% is an acceptable risk in my mind.
    Now its a question of where you are willing to go with this.
    If you dont see a problem with having 100% of a selection being made up of players who could choose senior squads, then thats another story.

  • Johny Witless // May 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    “You have the impression that they really train the same prototype of players, big, strong, powerful. What is there that is currently big, strong, powerful? The blacks.”
    He said the system needed to introduce other criteria to develop players “with our culture, our history”.

    Blanc then drew a contrast with Spanish football. “They say: ‘We don’t have a problem: we don’t have any blacks’.”

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