Chantal Jouanno, the Sports minister clears Laurent Blanc of wrongdoing
That was quick and more importantly it comes before the results of the FFF’s own investigation which are due this afternoon.
The FFF quickly distanced itself from the DTN after Mediapart had exposed a proposal by the technical body to establish quotas on bi-national subjects which could significantly impact black players and players of North African origin.
Chantal Jouanno, the Sports minister stated “there was no evidence or body of evidence that would say it violated the 2001 law on discrimination”
“The means to limit bi-nationals have indeed been discussed. The subject was addressed in a clumsy and inappropriate manner. They could be implied to restrict on the base of race but there was no introduction of quotas. “
The special investigator in charge of the investigation also said the words used in the meetings were too tenuous to be construed as evidence for systematic racial discrimination.
There appears to be a concerted effort to whitewash Laurent Blanc and to portray him as a victim of happenstance rather than a demagogue who used inflammatory words to make a point.
According to Jouanno, Blanc was not involved in any discriminatory process and attended the meeting for the first time in which he discovered the envisaged proposal to deal with the stated problem.
“There is no evidence that the manager endorses discriminatory projects.” Instead, “he strives to restore the values at the heart of the game,” she said.
The Minister proposed an internal audit to help reform the FFF. The complete report will be published in 5-6 weeks to allow the parties involved to validate or contradict the contents. This is in line with the FFF’s own internal investigation in which “discriminatory remarks” were made during the meeting on 8 November, but could not establish “any evidence of the establishment of a system” of ethnic quotas in French football. The DTN was looked on as a rogue element in need of rapprochement with the national body.
This however does not absolve Francois Blaquart, the suspended chief of the DTN who clearly stated the unspoken existence of quotas.
Chantal Juoanno is a close ally of Nicolas Sarkozy with rumours that she is a bit too close. She is also a 12 time judo champion.