David Vincent
Wrongful dismissal

'This clumsy gesture was inappropriate': French ref apologises for kicking and sending off defender

Tony Chapron has been suspended by the French Football Federation, while Diego Carlos’ second yellow has been overturned.

LAST UPDATE | Jan 15th 2018, 5:41 PM

REFEREE TONY CHAPRON, who last night kicked out at Nantes’ Diego Carlos before awarding the defender his second yellow card, has apologised for his actions.

The bizarre incident during PSG’s victory over Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire drew widespread criticism from football fans around the world, not least in France.

Chapron was provisionally suspended by the French Football Federation (FFF) on Monday afternoon, with the association announcing in a statement:

“The technical direction of refereeing and the federal commission of refereeing have decided on the withdrawal of Tony Chapron, who had been appointed for Wednesday’s Ligue 1 game between Angers and Troyes, until further notice.”

Chapron has now apologised to Diego Carlos, whom he initially suspected of colliding with him on purpose.

The Ligue 1 referee confirmed that he had written to the league’s disciplinary panel instructing them to rescind the 24-year-old Brazilian’s second yellow card on account of the incident seeming accidental on second viewing.

“This awkward gesture was inappropriate,” Chapron wrote in a statement sent to AFP. “So I want to apologise to Diego Carlos.”

“An additional report was sent to the Disciplinary Committee so that the warning [yellow card] received by the FC Nantes player was withdrawn, since in view of the images his gesture did not seem to me to be intentional.”

“In the match, I was hit by Diego Carlos. On the occasion of this shock, I felt a sharp pain on a recent injury. In a bad reflex, I stretched my leg towards the player, ” wrote Chapron, who indicated that he would only comment further on the incident when speaking with the relative authorities.

In a statement on their official website, Nantes confirmed a Ligue 1 disciplinary committee had “corrected a clearly erroneous decision” by withdrawing Carlos’ second yellow, meaning he is available for selection in their next game at Toulouse.

Pascal Garibian, the technical director of French football referees, described Chapron’s flick of the boot as ‘an unacceptable act’ following an emergency meeting held by the technical direction of arbitration (DTA) on Monday morning, during which the decision was made to suspend the 45-year-old official.

French ref under fire for crazy player kick in last night’s game between Nantes and PSG

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