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Saturday, 3 March 2012

A kiss of joy - French striker Olivier Giroud plants one on teammate Mathieu Debuchy

There's no more emotional way of showing feelings than a kiss - is there?

Well not if you happen to be a football player where kissing a fellow player could be misinterpreted.

After all there's something of a taboo surrounding homosexuality in the so-called Beautiful Game, and although Uefa has thrown its weight behind national campaigns to stamp out homophobia, most would agree there's still a lot of work that needs to be done.

Just last month for example, Uefa was urged to take action over Real Madrid manager José Mourinho's apparent homophobic slur before his side's Champions League match against CSKA Moscow.

But that's all rather an aside to an event that occurred last week during a friendly international between Germany and France.

It concerned the 25-year-old Ligue 1 Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud, making only his third appearance for Les Bleus in a game which would see him score his first international goal.

Giroud netted the ball after another relative newcomer to the team, Mathieu Debuchy a 26-year old midfielder from the current French champions Lille, passed to him.

Olivier Giroud kisses teammate Mathieu Debuchy (screenshot ZDF television)

And what happened next was a clear show of camaraderie and excitement as the two men shared a full-on smacker.

Well from the camera angle it seemed to be more Giroud kissing Debuchy than the other way round.

It was a moment which, while it left the German commentators completely unfazed - as you can tell (if you speak the language) they just kept on talking, wondering how Germany would the goal that is - seems to have plenty of "tongues wagging" on the Net.

Some of the headlines and comments were perhaps only to be expected and included phrases such as "French kissing" (yawn) or "Gay celebration" (even bigger yawn).

But any idea that the gesture was anything other than a complete expression of joy, especially on the part of Giroud, are surely wildly exaggerated.

Kissing another man in France - or in much of mainland Europe come to that - doesn't have the same sort of schoolboy-giggly innuendo it might have in say the United States or Britain.

It's just...well "normal" for want of a better word and definitely acceptable.

No big deal really and quite endearing - n'est-ce pas?

By the way, France won the friendly 2-1.


Anonymous said...

Extraordinary gesture! But sometimes, there's less than meets the eye as my grandmother used to say!

France Today said...

The heat of the moment! And heartwarmingly honest.

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