Toulouse striker Zakaria Aboukhlal will train ALONE, club confirms

Toulouse confirm Zakaria Aboukhlal will train ALONE while they investigate the striker’s alleged altercation with a French politician… just days after he REFUSED to take part in a league-wide campaign against homophobia

  • Zakaria Aboukhal will train away from Toulouse’s senior squad, the club confirms
  • The 23-year-old allegedly had a ‘serious’ altercation with a local official in April 
  • He also refused to take part in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2’s anti-discrimination campaign

Toulouse star Zakaria Aboukhlal has been forced to train individually after an investigation was launched into his alleged altercation with a local official last month.

According French outlet RMC Sport, Aboukhlal clashed with politician Laurence Arribage – Toulouse’s Deputy Mayor in charge of sport – in late April, after the the club triumphed 5-1 in their French Cup final over Nantes.

Toulouse confirmed on Tuesday that they were launching an internal investigation into the altercation and that the 23-year-old striker would train alone until further notice.

‘In response to the serious allegations published by RMC Sport against Toulouse Football Club player Zakaria Aboukhlal, the club has announced that the player will train away from the professional squad until further notice, pending the results of an internal investigation,’ the French club revealed.

Although Toulouse told RMC Sport that the allegations were ‘serious’, Arribage has since attempted to play down the clash, insisting that it was prompted by her telling the players to be quiet.

Toulouse have confirmed that Zakaria Aboukhlal will train on his own after ‘serious’ allegations

He allegedly clashed with Laurence Arribage, Toulouse’s Deputy Mayor in charge of sport

‘The players do not like being told to keep quiet like this,’ she told the French outlet. 

Aboukhlal was one of the players omitted from Toulouse’s squad against Nantes last weekend, after refusing to be a part of French football’s clamp down on homophobia. 

In honour of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on May 17, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 wore rainbow-coloured kit numbers and posed with LGBTQ+ banners in a bid to show their support in the fight against discrimination.

However, there were a handful of players who refused to take part in the gesture, and France’s Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has since encouraged clubs to sanction the boycotters.

A handful of Toulouse players – including Aboukhlal – were left out of the squad against Nantes after refusing to take part in a league-wide demonstration against homophobia last weekend

French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has encouraged clubs to punish the boycotters

Aboukhlal wrote on social media following the league-wide gesture: ‘Respect is a value that I hold in great esteem. 

‘It extends to others, but it also encompasses respect for my own personal beliefs.

‘Hence, I don’t believe I am the most suitable person to participate in this campaign.’

Toulouse played out a 0-0 stalemate with Nantes on Sunday, holding on to 13th spot in Ligue 1.

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