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MONACO, MONACO - FEBRUARY 23: Mohamed Camara of AS Monaco during the UEFA Europa League knockout round play-off leg two match between AS Monaco and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Stade Louis II on February 23, 2023 in Monaco, Monaco. Chris Ricco/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — The French Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) suspended a player for four games for covering up an LGBT message on his jersey during a game.

The LFP issued a statement on May 30 announcing it would suspend midfielder Mohamed Camara of AS Monaco because he refused to “carry out one or more actions to raise awareness of the fight against homophobia.”

Camara, a Muslim from Mali, covered up the so-called “anti-homophobia” logo on his jersey with white tape during his club’s 4-0 win against Nantes on May 19. According to Fox News, Camara did not participate in the team’s group photo in front of a banner with the same pro-LGBT message and also covered up a rainbow-colored badge on his jersey sleeve.

His actions caused a backlash in the mainstream media. France’s sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said Camara’s decision was “unacceptable behavior” and called for the “strongest sanctions” against the 24-year-old defensive midfielder.

Thiago Scuro, Monaco’s chief executive, told French media outlets that the club supports the league’s pro-LGBT campaign and that it will discuss the issue with Camara “internally.”

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Meanwhile, the Malian Football Federation defended Camara’s right to refuse to show the ideological symbol, saying that “players are citizens like any others, whose fundamental rights must be protected in all circumstances.”

As Africa News reports, this year’s LGBT campaign by the French soccer league was the fourth consecutive season in which the LFP had clubs use rainbow-themed symbols. Similar controversies have arisen each year. Last season, Nantes fined Egyptian player Mostafa Mohamed for sitting out a game against Toulouse in which the teams wore rainbow-colored numbers on their jerseys to promote the so-called “LGBTQIA+ community.”

In 2022, Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who then played for Paris Saint Germain, also refused to participate in a game where players had to wear rainbow-themed numbers on their jerseys. Senegal’s president at the time, Macky Sall, publicly defended Gueye, stating that “his religious convictions must be respected.”