21 Mar 2010

French coach dismisses racist talk

8:27 am on 21 March 2010

The French rugby coach Marc Lievremont has hit out after receiving letters claiming Guadeloupe-born back Mathieu Bastareaud shows a lack of allegiance to France.

The centre, one of France's top performers in this year's Six Nations, has been targeted in anonymous letters.

Lievrement says the letters point out the fact that Bastareaud is black, that he doesn't sing during the anthem and therefore he does not feel French, is stupid.

France captain Thierry Dusautoir, who was born in Ivory Coast, led the side out against England at the Stade de France, and Lievremont, who in the past received similar letters criticising Basque-born back row Imanol Harinordoquoy, is adamant rugby will not entertain any racist behaviour.

Lievremont says he gets a few letters, obviously none of which have been signed because whoever sent them are scumbags and obviously not very brave.

He says everyone approaches matches in a different way, and that includes with anthems and so you have to respect that.