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PARIS (AFP) - Any football match in France before which the country's national anthem is booed will now be "immediately stopped", French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot said Wednesday after meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The dramatic move followed the booing of "La Marseillaise" during France's 3-1 friendly win over Tunisia at the Stade de France in Paris on Tuesday.

"Any match when our national anthem is whistled will be stopped immediately," Bachelot said after talks with Sarkozy and French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes.

"Government members will immediately leave the arena where our national anthem has been whistled.

"When whistling of our antional anthem happens, all friendly games with the country concerned will be suspended for a period yet to be determined by the federation president."

"The president has committed himself to seeing that measures are taken," said Escalettes, who said the authorities had to think of the security implications if such behaviour were allowed to pass.

He blamed "imbecilic" fans for forcing the crackdown which he said left both him and the players scandalised and hurt.

Sarkozy and fellow politicians reacted with shock and anger at the booing and whistling.

Bernard Laporte, the ministerial secretary of state for sport, told Radio Monte Carlo he would suggest that France no longer play friendlies against North African countries following similar problems in recent years against Algeria and Morocco - like Tunisia, once former colonies of France.

"Let's stop the hypocrisy - let's just stop doing these matches," said Laporte.

"We cannot tolerate our Marseillaise being jeered."

Many of the 60,000 crowd on Tuesday were Tunisian - friendlies against North African sides traditionally attract widespread support from sizeable immigrant communities in and around the French capital.

Some booed when the names of the French players were read out over the PA system before kickoff, reaching a crescendo for Hatem Ben Arfa, born in France to Tunisian parents and who opted to play for the country of his birth despite overtures from the Tunisian Federation.

French Prime Minister François Fillon said the booing was "insulting for France and for the French players" and that in the event of a repeat it would be necessary "to call off matches."
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While I agree with this to an extent I notice they're only going to do this for Friendly matches. So their National Pride doesn't extend to games where points are at stake?

If all teams were to do this there wouldn't be any international football would there?
 

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Good on 'em. You whistle our anthem? You wasted your money
when you bought your ticket, the exit is that way.
 
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