Didier Dinart: “Claude Onesta must know that his words are doubtful and disrespectful”
“To Didier, the slave who profited the most from his release… hoping that he does not put the chains back on his players. Friendships Claude. “In 2014, it is in these terms that Claude Onesta dedicated his book,” The reign of freedmen “, to Didier Dinart. Six years after being written, the words of one of the most successful coaches in history appeared in the media along with a controversy over how he compared his Guadeloupe successor to a “slave”.
“I do not regret anything, it only commits him and me”, explained Onesta, refuting the accusations of racism and specifying that “if, at the time, it had affected him, he (Editor’s note: Dinart) could have told me, I would have been sorry and I would have told him. “Until then, Didier Dinart was silent. The one who was dismissed from his duties as coach of the France team last January, finally agreed to raise this controversy, during an interview in writing and under the supervision of a lawyer.
How did this dedication suddenly find its way into the Caribbean and Spanish media? Are you at the origin?
DIDIER DINART. Many people knew that it existed and it is one of the elements that appears in my personal file, sent to the President of the Federation at the end of May 2020.
Why take offense at it today and not denounce it six years ago?
Until today, I had never spoken about it publicly. I had to be in my role, to prioritize the collective, which is why I did not bring this subject to the heart of the public debate at the time. Otherwise, in my position, I would have been reproached. Whether it’s now or six years ago, the words are written and the thought lives on. Claude Onesta must know that his words are questionable and disrespectful.
Wasn’t your silence due to the fact that you were running for the post of coach?
As I explained to you, it is first of all in the interest of the collective that I said nothing. I never hid my ambitions to become a coach, even back then. But, frankly, if I had spoken at the time, I was directly taking a red card.
How did you receive this dedication six years ago?
In your opinion ? Put yourself in my place, I’m black! I succeeded Claude Onesta at the head of the France team, but it is not his only fact, I hope to have deserved this function by my past as a player on the one hand, as a coach- assistant on the other hand and finally by my training as a trainer. It was not easy for him to let go of me “the reins”, as he writes with his beautiful pen in his dedication, even if the words used should not have been those … hurt, as well as my mother, and shocked those around me. When we dare to write that and we still assume it publicly today …
This story looks like a settling of scores …
It’s all too easy to see it that way. Who settles accounts with whom? When Claude Onesta encouraged my eviction in January, did you ask him this question? We must not hide the real subject which is that of the dubious writing produced by Claude Onesta about me. Some would like to make my trial of the public release of this dedication, forgetting its author.
Isn’t it strange that it comes out at the time of the elections when you support Olivier Girault against Philippe Bana, DTN at the origin of your ousting from the France team?
It does not matter whether it is a pre-election period… Claude Onesta is not running for election. But if that brings to the democratic debate, so much the better.
The Minister of Sports said she would receive you. What do you expect from this interview?
The telephone conversation with the Minister was brief, we agreed to meet so that I could explain things to her, and we will come back to this dedication of course. I met his chief of staff a month ago, on other such sensitive subjects… In the meantime, I was contacted and received by Crefom (Representative Council of French Overseas) and I ‘thank you.
What other sensitive topics do you want to talk about?
The other sensitive subject is the conditions of my departure from the Federation last January. I am not going to dwell on this, we must not mix everything up.
Are you expecting a reaction from the French Handball Federation?
I read that of the president in L’Equipe last week. Considering how things went in January, I do not really expect her to react, especially since the election period does not help matters.
Are you planning to take legal action on this case?
It is an insult of a racial nature, but, for my part, any action is prescribed. On the other hand, today, I place myself on a moral ground.
Do you frankly believe Claude Onesta to be racist?
It is up to everyone to form an opinion, but I find his words doubtful… Can we take individuals by designating them by an identity and refer to a tragic past? These words are inexcusable and indefensible especially since he accepts them publicly. We must leave the memories alone. We cannot constantly refer people to their religious, ethnic or cultural identity. We cannot afford everything just because we have won a lot of medals. We have all seen, heard and experienced racist things in sport or in society. It is the whole of society that must fight this scourge. Diversity and co-education are the richness, strength and DNA of sport and French society.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr