January 16 – A French referee who aimed a kick at a Nantes player before sending him off in a high-profile top-flight fixture against Paris St-Germain has been suspended “until further notice” by the French Football Association.
Defender Diego Carlos clipped referee Tony Chapron’s heels in what appeared to be an inadvertent collision as he tracked back in injury time. Chapron reacted by swinging a leg towards the player and then booked him for a second time, apparently for dissent.
In a statement, the French FA said its “technical body for referees (DTA) and the federal commission of referees” had “decided on the withdrawal of Tony Chapron, who had been appointed for Wednesday’s Ligue 1 game between Angers and Troyes, until further notice”.
It added: “Mr Tony Chapron will shortly be called to meet the LFP [French football league] disciplinary committee.
“Mr Tony Chapron, after reviewing the images, stated that his fall was caused accidentally. He has informed the DTA that he has prepared a report to this effect for the LFP disciplinary commission.”
Nantes chairman Waldemar Kita said Chapron should be banned for six months for the “scandalous” incident.
“It’s a joke,” Kita told French TV. “I received 20 text messages from all over the world telling me that this referee is a joke.”
Chapron has since apologised saying: “’My unfortunate reaction was to stick my leg out towards the player. This clumsy gesture was inappropriate. So I want to apologise following this action.”
The French league has now annulled Carlos’s second yellow card but Nantes forward Valentin Rongier said that wasn’t sufficient. “I know that refereeing is tough but if we do something like this, we get a 10-game suspension,” he said.
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