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EXCLUSIVE: France fans who boo Giroud are “stupid”, says Leboeuf

11:00 SAST 2016/06/10
Giroud appeals to the referee
The World Cup winner has slammed the Arsenal marksman's critics, insisting he does not “understand” supporters who have jeered him ahead of Euro 2016 this summer


France great Frank Leboeuf has leapt to the defence of Olivier Giroud, labelling supporters who boo the striker as “stupid”.

Giroud, 29, was subjected to jeers as Les Bleus beat Cameroon 3-2 in May, with fans in the stands showing little enthusiasm for his goal at Stade de la Beaujoire.

But Leboeuf hasn't held back in his criticism of Giroud's detractors, insisting he does not “understand” their actions.

“You know we give the light and importance to stupid people,” Leboeuf told Goal. “People who booed Olivier Giroud, if you ask them why they did it? I am not sure they have an answer.

“Sometimes you want to explain something inexplainable but really I don’t understand why [they would boo Giroud]?”

Scrutiny towards Giroud has been linked to Karim Benzema's absence from the squad due to legal reasons, with many believing he leads the line better than the Arsenal forward and should have been included in Didier Deschamps' 23-man squad.

Leboeuf - who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships with France and now works at ESPN - insists Giroud isn't the first France international to be targeted by his own but says tensions have started to ease following his brace against Scotland on June 4.

“Two years ago they booed Andre Pierre Gignac and now when he comes on they cheer him,” he added. “There is no sense in football. Dugary had that problem, even Michel Platini had that problem.

“I remember Beckham being booed after ’98 and then he became a fantastic player and loved by all English fans.

“It is getting better because he scored two goals last week. I think maybe it is a problem because Benzema is not there. You know stupid things.”

Giroud has scored seven goals in his last five starts but won’t be relied upon solely for goals as he will likely start alongside both Antonie Griezmann and Anthony Martial.

Lebouef was speaking to Goal courtesy of ESPN