AS Monaco ended the season in a festive manner on the evening of Sunday, May 19, with a 4-0 win over Nantes. Afterwards, the mood was high, as both HSH Prince Albert and chairman Rybolovlev came to the dressing room to thank and congratulate the team that will once again play in the Champions League. However, the moment seems to have been marred.

Monaco midfielder Mohamed Camara has voluntarily withdrawn from the action of the French Football Federation in the fight against homophobia, having covered the rainbow logo on his shirt and refused to be photographed with a banner mentioning the action, as all Ligue 1 teams did to support the action.

Camara, who was acquired by Monaco from Red Bull Salzburg two years ago, is 24 years old and an international of Mali. He scored his first goal for Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday, after being allowed by top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder to score from a penalty. After that, he was exuberantly feted by all his teammates on the field and on the sidelines. He is loved because he is an exemplary professional, but that happened after his personal action, which is not supported by the club.

Of course, this refusal to take part in the campaign to ban homophobia from football has caused a stir. Coach Adi Hütter said on Sunday evening; “As a club, we support the league’s initiative. It was a personal initiative from Camara. We will have this conversation with Mo internally. I had the badges on in the game, I support the league’s initiative.”

On Monday morning, the French Minister of Education and Sports Affairs, Oudéa-Castéra, said she was very indignant by Camara’s attitude; “This behaviour must simply be punished, first of all by the Football Association. Both the player and the club are responsible. The club should never have let it come to this and the player did not follow the basic rules of the federation with his behaviour.”

A few journalists have also made their views clear. Daniel Riolo, one of the authoritative opinion makers of the radio station RMC Info, opines: “It’s just very reprehensible what happened. Until last year, there were always excuses that the players had misunderstood, but they don’t exist now. By covering the logo of the action on his shirt, Camara pretends to approve of homophobia. And that is a crime and not an opinion. There can be no misunderstanding. There can be no misunderstanding about this. The Monaco board would have to terminate the contract of the player in question. I think that’s clear for the credibility of AS Monaco.” There was also a lot of dissatisfaction on social media among Monaco fans about the behaviour of the midfielder, who was highly appreciated until yesterday.

featured image courtesy of AS Monaco: Mohamed Camara