After threatening the fasting people, a Muslim player was excluded from the French junior national team, with “God is Great” written on his shirt

The French Football Federation decided to exclude Marseille player Enzo Sternal from the under-16 team, because of his celebration of the phrase “God is great” that he wrote on his undershirt. The decision sparked widespread condemnation among the masses and through social media.

Sternal, who is considered one of the football talents, revealed the phrase “God is great” on his undershirt while celebrating one of his goals with the youth team.

And French media said that the Federation of the game decided, officially, to exclude the rising star of Algerian origin, because of what he said were “behavioral problems that appeared on him” during his participation in the Montague International Championship, last April.

She added that this exclusion may make Sternal choose the Algerian national team instead of the French, because his mother is of Algerian origin, as she hails from the province of Mila in the east of the country.

Activists and bloggers considered that what happened was another episode of the “Islamophobia” series in France, pointing to reports that the Football Association threatened Muslim players with the teams of the Sunni groups, and gave them the choice between fasting and exclusion from the squad.

And the French investigative journalist, Romain Molina, had revealed that the Football Association was frank and direct with the national team players by saying, “Do you fast Ramadan? It is easy, you will not be called up to the national team,” he said, noting that the federation “has sought the help of a Muslim from security, but he does not fast during the holy month, in order to put pressure on the players.”

Journalist and activist Camille Abdel Rahman said, through his account on the “X” platform (formerly Twitter), “Islamophobia is still strong and finds a way for it within the corridors of the French Football Federation.”

Blogger Raphael Baume denounced what he called double standards, as previously, “national team striker Olivier Giroud appeared in a video clip carrying a religious book in the French Federation,” while “Sternal is being punished for the phrase God is great.”

“It seems to me that the French Football Federation prepared a report a few years ago on Giroud and his Christian faith, so why bother him when someone shows another faith?” wrote coach Amine Amour.

The French Football Federation, under Article 1 of its statute, prohibits “wearing a banner or uniform showing political, philosophical, religious or trade union affiliation” as well as “any missionary work or propaganda maneuver.”

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