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France suspends technical director in racism probe

world Updated: Apr 30, 2011 20:52 IST

The French sports ministry has suspended the technical director of the country's football federation after a report claimed the federation agreed to reduce the number of black and Arab players in national training programmes.

In a joint statement today with the FFF federation, the ministry said the suspension of Francois Blaquart would take effect immediately, pending a probe into the allegations.

Investigative website Mediapart reported on Thursday that senior staff within the federation approved proposals to limit to 30 percent the number of players of African and North-African descent once they reach age 13.

French federation president Fernand Duchaussoy and national team coach Laurent Blanc said yesterday that such a move was never discussed. Blanc called the report a "lie."

In today's statement, the FFF "reiterated ... that none of its elected officials validated or even imagined a quota policy."