What we know about the Youcef Belaïli affair

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Stade Auguste Delaune, Sunday February 20, 3 p.m. Stade de Reims received Stade Brestois as part of the 25th day of Ligue 1 with the objective of the two teams in the first part of the table. If the ground knew the spectacle and the goals (1-1), it was necessary to turn towards the stands to attend the very unfortunate event of the afternoon. Indeed, it all started with a journalist from Mediapart, claiming that Youcef Belaïli, Algerian international and SB29 winter recruit, was the subject of racist insults during the match from some supporters: “Whistles, middle fingers and insults, songs that smell of racism: We are in France, One two three, go back to your country…”

These remarks were condemned by the Stade de Reims itself, which affirmed on Tuesday that “the two clubs are working together to try to identify the perpetrators of these alleged insults”despite the absence of “tangible evidence (photos, videos, concordant testimonies) enabling the offense to be characterized.” The Algerian Football Federation had also stepped up to the plate, affirming its full support for its international with 33 selections (6 goals), and condemned “vigorously these retrograde attitudes and from another time which go against the virtues of sport and fair play.” But if these discriminatory remarks did not seem to be confirmed by either the SdR or the League, The Telegram lifted the veil on the affair.

Algerian supporters also targeted

According to testimonies collected by the Breton daily, several ultra supporters present at Auguste Delaune uttered racist insults against the 29-year-old attacking midfielder: in addition to insults “dirty arab”, “one two three, go back to your country” or the nationalist slogan “France to the French”some remarks were much more violent, including: “You would have done better to die crossing the Mediterranean”, reports the regional newspaper. After viewing the surveillance camera recordings, a Nazi salute was also reported to the police by the Champagne club, but the author of the gesture, aged 16, received only a simple reminder of the law after his death. summons to the prosecution last Monday, claiming that“He had pain in his arm.”

But these abject reactions were not aimed only at the Brest player: the publication adds in its columns, supported by testimonies, that several Algerian supporters, who proclaimed their compatriot with each ball shot. These spectators also suffered the same fate according to a witness: “These songs weren’t necessarily against Belaïli, rather against the Algerian supporters present in the other stands (…) people were saying of the Algerian supporters that they should turn to Mecca, that sort of thing.” Another spectator on the spot had also managed to capture certain insults from the stands, during which we hear in the background: “He’s an Arab… They piss us off! Long live Eric Zemmour. Finally, a last witness interviewed also affirmed that a far-right group, called the “My bones”, has often been present in the stands for several years. Testimonies that could prove useful during the disciplinary committee, scheduled for Wednesday evening…

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