To protest against a French ban on advertising for gambling, Toulouse FC players wore the slogan "???.com, censored" on their shirts today against Olympique Marseille. It replaced the name of Toulouse's shirt sponsors, online casino and poker firm 888.com. The French Professional Football League on Friday banned its clubs from advertising any form of gambling and online betting. Gambling is a state monopoly in France (now there's a surprise) and online betting firms are banned from seeking clients on French territory. If you'll recall, a certain FC Sevilla forward had a little issue with gambling as well.
This was just all an aside to the beating that Toulouse took at the Stade Velodrome. With the three points, Marseille were able to stay within striking distance of defending champs Olympique Lyon. Gerard Houllier's men beat FC Sochaux yesterday to continue their amazing start to the Ligue 1 season, 22 points from a possible 24 after eight games. Add that to two solid wins in the UEFA Champions League and some might say that Houllier's got a juggernaut on his hands.
Ligue 1 resumes the weekend of October 14th with matches between the runaway leaders, Lyon and Marseille, and two pretenders that need results to keep things in France from becoming a two horse race. Lyon host AS Saint-Etienne on the 14th while Marseille travel to play RC Lens the next day.
Today in France [ESPN Soccernet]