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Muslim Soccer Team Says No to Gays


A gay amateur soccer team in France says its members were targets of homophobia when a team of Muslim players refused to play a match against them.

The Paris Foot Gay team received an e-mail from the Creteil Bebel club canceling a match scheduled for last Sunday.

"Because of the principles of our team, which is a team of devout Muslims, we can't play against you," the e-mail said, reports the Associated Press. "Our convictions are much more important than a simple football match."

"We have been insulted in the past, but this sort of thing has never happened," Pascal Brethes, chairman and cofounder of PFG, told Reuters.

Creteil Bebel defended their pullout, claiming they had a right rooted in their religious convictions to cancel the match.

"As a Muslim, I have the right not to play against homosexuals because I don't share their ideas," Zahir Belgarbi, one of the team directors, said on France Bleu radio.

According to the Associated Press, Belgarbi went on to apologize if "anyone felt upset or hurt."

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