Outspoken Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal is being investigated after robustly defending Mathieu Bastareaud’s use of a homophobic slur, writes Stephen Barry.
Boudjellal said he was worried the French international would be banned because of the “Mormon side of the EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) with the Welsh and the Irish”.
In quotes translated in media reports from French website Rugbyrama, he claimed the Welsh and Irish preach morals they do not keep.
“I’m worried. What I fear is the Mormon side of the EPCR with the Welsh and the Irish,” said Boudjellal.
“These are people who sell morality when they do not have it. The same people who have ministers who are whipped in private but considered ‘clean’ guys in public.”
Boudjellal also defended Bastareaud’s use of the term ‘f****** f*****’ to insult an opposing Toulon player, Sebastian Negri, in the final minute of their 36-0 Champions Cup win.
“In my view, we’re talking about an insult that has entered common language,” he said.
“At no point did Mathieu Bastareaud seek to make a judgment as to the sexual orientation of the player in question. It’s like when I call someone a son of a b**** generally I don’t know his mother.
“I’m not homophobic either, but I have called someone a f*****. It has entered into common usage, it’s what comes to mind first in a row.
“But we’re in an age in which morality has taken on a great importance. As if people are incapable of understanding that, and to take things into consideration... the only area in which humour doesn’t have a place is paedophilia.
“What Mathieu said was a slip in the heat of the action.”
Bastareaud has already apologised for the incident on his Twitter account.
“Good evening everybody, I want to apologise to my response to the insults of the Italian Player. I reacted badly in responding to his provocation, I am sincerely sorry for the people I hurt,” he wrote after the game on Sunday evening.
In addition to Bastareaud’s disciplinary hearing, scheduled for tomorrow, the governing body said of Boudjellal’s comments: “If EPCR considers that the reported comments amount to misconduct under its Disciplinary Rules, it may bring a disciplinary charge against Mr Boudjellal.”