A French amateur footballer’s application to return to his club was denied on the grounds of his sexuality.

The footballer, Yoann Lemaire, was the object of televised homophobic outbursts from other players in 2009. He took a sabbatical following the incident, but has not been allowed to return to the club to avoid further “trouble”.

FC Chooz club manager Frédéric Pretty’s rejection letter cited the club’s desire to avoid potential negative publicity caused by comments about Lemaire’s homosexuality in the future.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, the player explains that only two players out of the 60 registered with the team were the source of homophobic comments.

The club is a signatory of a charter designed to fight homophobia in football, launched by Paris Foot Gay in 2007. Paris Foot Gay has called this week for sanctions against FC Chooz, “to help the football world to realize that homophobia is as bad as racism and anti-Semitism.”