Following Sunday night’s FIFA World Cup Final which saw Argentina soar to victory after defeating France 4-2 on penalties, French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, one of the few Western players who refused to wear the rainbow-colored LGBT armband during the tournament, was subjected to a torrent of vitriolic racial abuse on social media.
Miserable, hate-filled football fans who seemed to have thought Lloris should have made more saves in the penalty shootout that decided the match took to Twitter to post racist bile, with the phrase “sale blanc,” or “dirty white” being repeatedly used by social media users.
“Lloris has conceded 3 goals and stop 0 penalties. Dirty White,” one netizen said.
“If he wasn’t white I swear he would never have worn the jersey. This guy is too bad,” wrote one user who took a shot at the French goalkeeper. Another user agreed, writing: “He holds [the jersey] just because he is white.”
“The only white on the team is Lloris, and it is because of him that France lost,” insisted another.
“The only white man who didn’t do the job. F*ck you, Lloris,” another person wrote.
Another person referred to Lloris as a “f*cking racist” and the “worst goalkeeper in the world.” The same user called manager Didier Deschamps a “dirty terrorist.”
Others on the French team, including Afro-French players Kandal Kolo Muani, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Kingsley Coman, two of whom missed key penalties during the shoutout which ultimately led to Argentina winning the match, were also subjected to cruel, racist abuse online.
The Twitter accounts of Tchouameni and Kolo Muani were flooded with appalling comments and monkey and banana emojis, causing the two Frenchmen to disable their accounts.
Although verbal abuse isn’t especially new to football, it does, perhaps, reflect the stark and seemingly ever-widening divide in multicultural France.