France prop Bamba racially abused as coach blasts 'world of imbeciles'

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France prop Demba Bamba scored one of Lyon's seven tries in their 47-3 win over Perpignan in the Top 14 on Saturday (AFP/JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK)
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France prop Demba Bamba was the target of racist comments on social networks after Lyon's defeat to Pau last Saturday, his club coach Pierre Mignoni revealed at a press conference on Saturday.

"This afternoon, he responded (on the field) to some very unpleasant criticism on social networks," said Mignoni after his side's 47-3 thrashing of Perpignan in the Top 14.

"We are falling into a world of imbeciles. Criticism is not a problem. Insults about the colour of someone's skin, that is different.

"I expect Demba Bamba to repeat these performances. I wanted to give him the opportunity to bounce back."

Bamba, who has won 16 caps for France, said the abuse was "anonymous".

"I was not looking for revenge. I focused on myself, I stayed close to my teammates," added the 23-year-old.

On Thursday, French second division player Ludo Radosavljevic was banned for 26 weeks for racially abusing a Cameroonian player.

Provence Rugby's Radosavljevic, 32, acknowledged having abused Nevers' Cameroonian winger Christian Ambadiang and will not be able to play before April 25, 2022.

Ambadiang said he had been called a "banana eater" during his team's loss at Aix-en-Provence earlier this month.

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