Mahamadou Diawara: FFF President Denies Discrimination After U19 Star Leaves Camp

Mahamadou Diawara: FFF President Denies Discrimination After U19 Star Leaves Camp

Lukman Mumuni
updated at March 26, 2024 at 7:35 AM
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  • Phillipe Diallo has reacted to Mahamadou Diawara's France U20 exit
  • The FFF President denied religious discrimination in French football
  • Diawara refused to break his fast for the March international break

President of the French Football Federation, Phillipe Diallo, has broken his silence after Mahamadou Diawara left the U19 team ahead of the international friendly against Germany.

Diawara was reportedly sent home for refusing to break his fasting for the eight-day period that he will be in the camp with the junior national team.

The situation sparked controversy, with many from the Muslim community criticising France for their apparent religious intolerance.

Mahamadou Diawara, Phillipe Diallo, France, Fasting, ramadan, U19, team, religious,
Mahamadou Diawara left France's U19 camp but FA boss, Phillipe Diallo, has denied claims of discrimination. Credit: @FIFAcom/ @FFF.
Source: Twitter

However, the FFF president has denied such claims and said there were rules that needed to be followed by players invited to the national team set-up.

"I cannot accept that people say that the FFF carries out religious discrimination. My duty is to ensure a form of neutrality in sporting practice," he said, as quoted by 13 Football.
"The federation has set a framework, like at school. There cannot be a change in our schedules, in our organisation, which is linked to the implementation of religious practice, whatever it may be."

Diallo also insisted the FFF has respect for everyone's religious beliefs but stressed the need to be careful not to jeopardise the health of their athletes.

"I respect everyone’s beliefs. It is possible, if we want to fast, so as not to jeopardise the performance or health of athletes, to postpone it," he continued.
"No one in the Federation, starting with me, has forbidden anyone to fast. I even heard that an official of the Muslim authority said that it was perfectly compatible with practicing high-level sport by suspending one's fast," he concluded.

The French U20 team lost the first of the double-header friendly against Germany, per US Soccerway.

Diawara sent home from France camp

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Lyon midfielder, Diawara exited France's junior team for refusing to quit fasting for March's international break.

The 19-year-old was initially included in the squad to face Germany in a friendly but could not cope with some of the conditions set for players.

France's FA has been strict about a so-called neutrality system, with Diawara said to have decided to leave against ending his Ramadan fast.

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Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.