By now, almost everyone has heard about the French Football Federation's alleged racial quota, limiting the number of players of black and North African decent allowed in the youth academies to 30%. But had any Aston Villa fans made the connection between the club's ailing manager and the FFF scandal? After all, Gérard Houllier was the technical director for France before he accepted the Villa offer. Turns out, fingers have been pointed at Houllier.
"It was under [French football manager] Gerard Houllier's helm," Merelle told France's RMC Radio. "There was no official quota policy at the time, but a reflection about the numbers of black and Arabs. According to them, and that includes Francois Blaquart, there were too many."
Now, I've been studying this quote for approximately thirty minutes and I can't figure out what, precisely, it means. For one, Houllier resigned as the manager for France in 1993. He stayed on as technical director, and then returned after managing Lyon. So is this quote alleging that these polices were in place almost twenty years ago? And they're just coming to light now?
And just how racist can Houllier be, anyway? Is he racist for not playing Gabriel Agbonlahor
? Does he get a pass on Ashley Young
because his playing will earn a higher price tag? And how do you explain Darren Bent
? Or even more so, Jean Makoun
? Debate Bent all you want, but there's no denying Makoun was all Gérard's choice.
Yeah, the FFF did something pretty stupid. But let's not torch Houllier until there's a bit more known about this ridiculousness.