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Not a Banner Day for PSG

Paris Saint-Germain is already in grave danger of being relegated from Ligue 1. Now the club is being banned from next year's French League Cup because their supporters displayed a mean-spirited banner.

How would MLS supporters feel if one of their banners got their club booted from the U.S. Open Cup? (Oh, never mind.)

By Steve Goff  |  May 1, 2008; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  World  
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Comments

Seems like a good banner idea for the next roadtrip to the swamps of New Jersey! :-)

Posted by: Tweaked | May 1, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Paedophiles, unemployed, inbreeding, welcome to the North"

Posted by: sitruc | May 1, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Somewhere, Marcello Gallardo is smiling...

Posted by: Section 130 | May 1, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Seems like quite a severe punishment, but Paris is certainly not a place that needs more of that, after last year's riots and the continuing problems.

I can't believe Paris might not have a Ligue 1 team next year. That is as crazy as not having baseball in the nation's capital :)

Posted by: RK | May 1, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure that the banner makes sense. If they are degrading people from the north they might want to take a look at a map. Paris is more in the north than in the south. France is a beautiful but the people are a bunch of racist rednecks, hardly a tolerant society, and PSG is awful I hope they are relegated.

http://www.futink.com

Posted by: wrc | May 1, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Paedophiles, unemployed, inbreeding,"

Insulting, definitely. Racist? I don't see how, unless there's an element to French society that I'm not getting.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 1, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The message hijacked the name of a film which is currently breaking box office records in France, called 'Welcome to the North', and was aimed directly at the people of Lens.

I think you need to look at a map. Lens is much farther north -- hence they were talking about them. Do you think through what you are writing, or just slap something down so you can place your ad?

And Paris regards the rest of France differently, anyway, even when the problems are in its own backyard (and definitely close to where the PSG stadium is).

Posted by: RK | May 1, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"France is a beautiful but the people are a bunch of racist rednecks, hardly a tolerant society,"

No generalizations here :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 1, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I did not think they would get punished for that banner, but their history with racism probably gave the French FA cause to act this harshly.

Posted by: Red Devil | May 1, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I-270, "unemployed" could be considered a reference to foreigners.

I take it back -- the punishment wasn't harsh. PSG could've been docked points, but of course the Ligue didn't want that to happen.

Posted by: RK | May 1, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

off-topic a bit, but I really wish FSC still showed Ligue 1 games. I'll take what I can get, but just wishing...

Posted by: downtown | May 1, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@downtown

Setanta Sports shows at least two games a week. If that's of any help.

Posted by: Red Devil | May 1, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I-270, "unemployed" could be considered a reference to foreigners.

Posted by: RK | May 1, 2008 11:13 AM
============

I considered that, but isn't that the pot calling the kettle [deleted due to over-sensitivity]?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 1, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, you'd think that, but there's Paris, then there is the rest of France.

I'm sure that something has happened more recently in Lens that we just don't know about -- perhaps w/ regards to the other parts of the banners.

Posted by: RK | May 1, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

But what if the banner's right?

Posted by: PatBuchanan | May 1, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks. I also get Channel 5 from France which is usually good - and satisfies my french wife (since it's in french). Anyway, Goal.com has more details
http://goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=679004
Specifically:

The president of the disciplinary commission Jacques Riolacci has said the club would not be deducted points, as a racist connotation had not been established.

"The disciplinary commission didn't find that the banner, despite shocking a lot of people, was strictly racist," explained Riolacci.

A points deduction would have spelled disaster for the capital club who, despite the League Cup win, are flirting with relegation after a woeful league campaign.

The club have vowed to appeal the ban, and released a statement, which read: "PSG will do everything in its power to contest and try and annul this decision.

A criminal investigation has been opened to prosecute those responsible for "inciting hatred and violence" against northerners.

Posted by: downtown | May 1, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather get kicked out of the cup for a bad banner than lose to Harrisburg.

Posted by: Eddie C | May 1, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Also, another FYI, here's the statement (in French) from the Boulogne Boys - the ones whose members were accused of hoisting the banner.
http://www.boulogne-boys.org/

Essentially they are disbanding

Posted by: downtown | May 1, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

This is not like a US city vs city insult. Paris is unquestionably the center of France - the banner touched on a lodestone of French popular culture, the divide between the glamorous and wealthy capital, and the so-called "deep France" known for its relative poverty, ignorance, provincialism and (small consolation) "authenticity." I can see where this would be classified as a "racist" insult considering the power that this idea has in France - see Richard Bernstein's "Fragile Glory: A portrait of France and the French," where he used the idea of the divide between "deep France" and Paris to organize much of the book.

Posted by: Modibo | May 1, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Great pun Goff

Posted by: ahelms | May 1, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Imagine, for example, a banner at an RSL game that read "polygamy, inbreeding, prohibition: welcome to Utah." Clearly a swipe at Mormons... or something like the PSG banner at a college football game in West Virginia, which would be a swipe at Appalachians.

Them's fightin' words, friends.

Posted by: Modibo | May 1, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@PatBuchanan,

You seem to be stuck in the old world were moral fiber and facts determined right and wrong. We've simplified things a bit recently and decided that its now down to popular perception. :D

Posted by: Tyler Durden | May 1, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@Eddie C

Ah-GREED!! I live in Harrisburg and I always hear that piss-ant of a team touting their great defeat of DC United. We need a meaningful rematch and we need one NOW!! Dropping 7 goals on them won't be enough to satisfy my hunger for vengance.

As far as the PSG thing goes, I think the punishment wasn't harsh enough. We must stamp racism out of the game. Period. Cultural differences aside, Europe is much older than us, so its easy for us to fail to fully realize the disgusting nature and dispicable intent behind that banner. Dock 'em the points and relegate their derriers. That's what I say.

Posted by: Kosh | May 1, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I-270: Re: whether it's "racist" or not, they're probably operating within the context of this definition of race, from Merriam-Webster: "2 a: a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock b: a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics." Thus you sometimes hear references to e.g. "the English race."

I'm not making an argument about whether that's a good definition -- only that it is *a* definition, and a not-uncommon one.

Posted by: Bootsy | May 1, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. That banner only seems a little worse than getting people inside Giants Stadium to help put up a huge banner hanging off the railing that said "NORTH JERSEY: ARMPIT OF AMERICA"

Posted by: Bootsy | May 1, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Please, Paris is rugby country... there are more Arsenal jerseys on the streets of Paris than PSG. They could use a swim through Ligue 2 next year to get their heads right.

Posted by: AM | May 1, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

What does the banner have to do with the players who are actually playing the game?

Ban the supporters group who put up the sign from the league games not the entire team!

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 1, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The ARMPIT banner has to go down as one of the greatest feats in Barra Brava history.

Posted by: BarraFanatico | May 1, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Southeasterner. The question is to what degree the club has responsibility for the actions of the crowd. Did the club endorse the banner? Did they fail to send someone over to take it down when it was their duty to do so? WAS it their responsibility to do so?

On the other hand, you could argue that the most effective way to stamp out unwanted behavior by the supporters is to punish their team. This will certainly make them and others like think twice next time.

Posted by: David | May 1, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Imagine, for example, a banner at an RSL game that read "polygamy, inbreeding, prohibition: welcome to Utah." Clearly a swipe at Mormons... or something like the PSG banner at a college football game in West Virginia, which would be a swipe at Appalachians.

Them's fightin' words, friends.

Posted by: Modibo | May 1, 2008 12:03 PM


Oh Great! Come up with a good banner idea AFTER we finish playing RSL for the season. ;)

Posted by: Matthai | May 1, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

daivd: it's PSG we're talking about. they have a long and inglorious tradition of fan, er, issues. Obviously, the club doesn't care enough to control its fans, and this is the last straw. they have had plenty of opportunity to stamp out this stuff, and have failed to do so. so now the club pays.

Posted by: northzax | May 1, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh Great! Come up with a good banner idea AFTER we finish playing RSL for the season. ;)

Posted by: Matthai | May 1, 2008 1:53 PM


Hey we can always use it to properly open their new stadium next year :)

Posted by: Kosh | May 1, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Who's Matthai?

Do I have to change my name now?

Posted by: Matt Mathai | May 1, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I would ask for credit on the banner if you use it... but I think you can understand why I'll just let you have that idea for free.

I had my fair share of "good ideas" like this when I was in college. I also had my fair share of "discussions" with the dean and certain campus groups who did not think those ideas were particularly good.

Luckily now I know how to put them in the mouths of others.

Posted by: Modibo | May 1, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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