03 May 2016

French Mayor Christian Estrosi vows to penalise football clubs that allow Muslim prayers at games

The mayor of Nice has warned that funds will be cut from football teams that allow Muslim players to pray at games. In the latest crackdown on the Islamic religion in the wake of terror attacks and Europe's refugee crisis, right-wing Mayor Christian Estrosi has ordered clubs on the Riviera to obey a new "secularism charter" that forbids mixing religion with the sport, reports the Telegraph.

The charter, based on a centuries-old French law requiring the separation of church and state, was introduced after a dozen incidents of Riviera club players praying on or near the field or in locker rooms since October 2015. At least two players were suspended for two matches for praying, reports BFM TV.

In addition, there was a report that some male Muslim referees had refused to shake the hands of female players because of religious strictures. Club leaders support Estrosi's warning. [International Business Times] Read more