A week after the elimination of the France team against Switzerland concluding a disappointing Euro 2020 for the Blues, a controversy swells around two French players – Ousmane Dembélé and Antoine Griezmann – since the broadcast of a video in which are made racist remarks.
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In this video, we recognize the voice of Ousmane Dembélé, FC Barcelona striker and selected by Didier Deschamps during the last European Championship, who seems to make racist remarks against Japanese technicians during a tour of the Spanish team in Asia. His friend and Barcelona teammate Antoine Griezmann sneers at his side.
The video dates back to the summer of 2019, when FC Barcelona was touring Japan, tells the “South China Morning Post” on Saturday July 3, the day after it was broadcast on Twitter.
The two French players mock the staff of a hotel who would have come to help them connect a game console. Remarks that shock and clash while anti-racism was widely advocated in football in recent months.
Ousmane Dembélé posted an apology on Instagram this Monday, July 5. ” “This video is now public. So I can imagine that she could have offended the people present in these images. Therefore, I offer them my sincere apologies. “ In this short text, the French player is also justified. “Recently, a private video dating from 2019 was circulating on social networks. The scene happens to be in Japan. It could have taken place anywhere on the planet, I would have used the same expressions. So I was not targeting any community ”, assures the 2018 world champion.
Ousmane Dembelé’s message on Instagram
Antoine Griezmann, also targeted by these criticisms on social networks, reacted on Monday: “I have always been committed against any form of discrimination,” says the world champion. For the past few days, some people have wanted to pass me off as the man I am not. I firmly refute the accusations made against me and I am sorry if I could offend my Japanese friends. “
“All these dirty faces to play PES”
In the video, we can see several technicians focusing on a television to try to operate the video game Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). Ousmane Dembélé then launched a “All those dirty faces to play PES” before the two footballers laugh.
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A time passes, the opportunity for Dembélé to zoom in on the faces of certain members of the hotel staff who are discussing among themselves. The player then exclaims: “ Oh fuck the tongue », Before leaving in a giggle with his friend Griezmann. Then, seeing the technicians having trouble with the connections, Dembélé asks: “Are you ahead or are you not ahead in your country, yeah?” ! “ New giggles.
While the world of sport, and more particularly that of football, is fighting to try to remove this racist and homophobic label that has stuck to its skin for so many years, these comments are shocking on social networks.
Comments and taunts that relaunched, on Twitter, the hashtag #StopAsianHate (“Stop the hatred against Asians”, in English), which tries to defend the Asian community.
This is not the first time that Antoine Griezmann is at the heart of a controversy. He had already been in turmoil after a “blackface” posted on social networks in December 2017.