Mohamed Camara supported by his family. Accused of homophobia during the match between Monaco and Nantes (4-0) on Sunday, the Malian ASM midfielder received the support of personalities in Mali and many compatriots on social networks.

During the last day of Ligue 1, the midfielder had hidden the logo against homophobia flocked on his jersey and worn by all the players, coaches and referees, as part of a campaign to fight against discrimination led by the Professional Football League (LFP). French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera denounced “unacceptable behavior” and demanded “the strongest sanctions” against the player and his club.

But on social networks, Malian personalities and many Internet users expressed their solidarity with the player, known in the national team for his attachment to the Muslim faith. “Those who call themselves defenders of freedom and democracy must respect the religious convictions of athletes. Full support for Mohamed Camara!” Hamidou Doumbia, Malian politician, wrote on Facebook.

“Is he there to play football or support political causes on imposed sexual orientation?” asks Fatouma Harber, Malian blogger and feminist, on Facebook. “Full support bro

Multiple Malian sports pages also gave their support to the player in publications illustrated by photos of Mohamed Camara during his pilgrimage to Mecca. Internet users deplore that the international did not receive the support of his federation nor that of his club and national team teammates.

They cite the precedent of the Senegalese international of Paris SG, Idrissa Gana Gueye, who sparked controversy in France in 2022 after withdrawing from the L1 day dedicated to the fight against homophobia. He notably received the support of the then head of state, Macky Sall.

In Mali, of an estimated population of more than 20 million, 95% are Muslim, according to the U.S. State Department’s 2022 report on global religious freedom. The country is attached to religious and traditional values ​​which do not tolerate the practice of homosexuality, even if no criminal sanctions are in force. In 2022, Malian Minister of Justice Mamoudou Kassogué described homosexuality as an “unnatural relationship”, and indicated that it would soon be criminalized, during a workshop to validate a preliminary draft law on Penal Code.