Denis Balbir claimed the leaking of his remarks was “particularly malicious.”

A soccer commentator in France has been suspended for making homophobic remarks in the Europa League quarterfinals.

Denis Balbir was reporting for W9 on Thursday’s match between RB Leipzig and Marseille, but it was his unaired post-game comments that caused a backlash: Balbir called RB Leipzig arrogant and referred to them using an anti-gay slur.

His comment did not go out live on the air, but was leaked online. In a statement announcing the suspension, W9 Channel said “respect of the opponent is essential in all circumstances.”

Balbir has apologized on Twitter for his “inappropriate words” but added that “the diffusion of this private and private sequence on social networks is however particularly malicious.”

In another tweet he thanked fans and players for their support.

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