As the Moroccan women’s national team competes in the first World Cup finals in its history, a controversy arose during a press conference. A BBC journalist asked captain Ghizlane Chebbak if there were any homosexual women on the team. The British media has since apologized.

A question, a controversy and an apology. Heavily beaten by Germany in their first-ever World Cup finals match (6-0), the Moroccan team must digest the harsh scoreline before looking ahead to the next game. But before that, a controversy arose at the pre-match press conference, with a question that embarrassed coach Reynald Pedros and team captain Ghizlane Chebbak.

At the microphone, a BBC journalist was keen to quiz the Atlas Lionesses midfielder on the issue of homosexuals in Morocco. “In Morocco, it is illegal to have a homosexual relationship,” he began, before continuing, “Do you have any homosexual players in the team and what are their lives like in Morocco?”. No sooner had the question been asked than the journalist was taken back by FIFA’s media officer because of the “very political” nature of the question. He was told that no answer would be given and that he should stick to “sporting issues”.

Not to the journalist’s liking, he insisted: “It’s not political, please let her answer”. To no avail. No further action was taken.

An inappropriate question

Faced with the question, the Moroccan captain smiled, as did her coach, before continuing with the press conference, which was eventually cut short with the next question. But the matter did not end there, and the sequence was widely shared on the web, with many Moroccan fans, but not only, indignant at the question asked.In response to the outcry, the BBC apologized. “We recognize that the question was inappropriate. We had no intention of causing harm or distress,” said a spokeswoman for the British media.For the time being, neither the Moroccan Football Federation nor FIFA have reacted.

Source: SNA

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