The French Football Federation (FFF) said on Tuesday that several members of the France team who lost to Argentina in the World Cup final experienced “hateful” racist abuse on social media. The FFF also stated that it planned to file a legal complaint.
Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni were abused after they missed their chances in the penalty shootout, mirroring what three England players endured after their team lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy the previous year.
Tuesday saw the release of a strong-worded statement from French football officials denouncing the abusers who resorted to social media following a thrilling championship game in which France overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to force penalties.
During the competition, the team won over the majority of French citizens, and on Monday when they arrived back from Qatar, 50,000 people met them at Place de la Concorde.
“Several French players experienced racist and intolerably cruel comments on social media after the World Cup final. The FFF disapproves of them and will file a complaint against individuals responsible, the FFF said on behalf of the France football squad.
Coman, whose introduction by manager Didier Deschamps in the second half ignited a French comeback, has already seen his club, German champions Bayern Munich, come to his defense: “FC Bayern strongly condemn the racist comments made towards Kingsley Coman. The FC Bayern family is behind you, King. Racism has no place in sport or our society,” they tweeted on Monday.
Politicians swiftly denounced the insult, and the FFF was urged to file a complaint by the opposition Socialist Party. The insult was called “unacceptable” by Minister of Equality and Diversity Isabelle Rome.
The French squad has been the target of attacks before.
In the encounter on Sunday, Kylian Mbappe recorded a hat-trick but was subjected to criticism after missing a penalty in a shootout loss to Switzerland in the last 16 Euro 2020 clash.
English players Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, and Marcus Rashford—all of whom are black—received a storm of internet criticism during the Euro 2020 final because they were unable to convert their penalty kicks, which prevented England from winning its first title since the 1966 World Cup. Following that, British police made a number of arrests, and one man was given a 10-week prison sentence.