French referee Tony Chapron has been suspended after being caught kicking out at Diego Carlos and then sending off the Nantes player following an apparently accidental collision between the pair during Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash with Paris Saint-Germain.
Chapron aimed a kick at the Nantes defender while on the floor after the pair accidentally collided in added time at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
Carlos was shown a second yellow card, apparently for dissent, a decision that left the hosts baffled. The player’s dismissal was overturned on Monday.
Chapron had been due to take charge of Wednesday’s Ligue 1 game between Angers and Troyes, but will now sit out “until further notice,” a Referees’ Technical Directorate (DTA) statement confirmed on Monday.
The decision was made after a phone call between DTA director Pascal Garibian and the president of the Federal Refereeing Commission (CFA), Eric Borghini.
According to L’Equipe, Chapron, 45, has sent a report to the football authorities and acknowledged he made a mistake in showing Carlos a second yellow card in added time at the end of Nantes’ 1-0 defeat.
In a statement released via French media on Monday, Chapron apologised to Carlos for his actions, writing: “This maladroit gesture was inappropriate. As a result, I would like to present my apologies to Diego Carlos.
“A complementary report has been sent to the disciplinary commission so that the booking received by the FC Nantes player be rescinded, as the images showed me his gesture did not seem voluntary.
“During the match, I collided with Diego Carlos. At the moment of impact, I had a very sharp pain on a recent injury. It was bad reflex action that meant I stuck my leg out at the player.”
Chapron has been roundly criticised for his actions, with Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri expressing his surprise after the match.
“I’ve never seen that,” the former Chelsea, Juventus and Leicester City boss told media. “I don’t know [if Chapron should be suspended]. What I do know is that I wasn’t able to have my player for the final few minutes, and the more serious thing is that he could be suspended for the coming match. But why? Why?”
The French Football League’s (LFP) Disciplinary Commission is expected to open an investigation into the incident when it sits on Thursday.
Garibian criticised Chapron’s “loss of control” in the incident.
“His action was unacceptable,” Garibian told L’Equipe. “I will not say more than that; it is for the LFP disciplinary commission to decide on. It was a bad reaction. He lost control of his emotions in the context of the fall.
“As a provisional measure, he will not be available to take charge of matches until the end of the [disciplinary] process.”
French referees organisation SAFE said it would stand with Chapron through the proceedings but acknowledged his fault in the incident.
“Tony Chapron reacted badly. Even if he is not an aggressive character, his gesture was inappropriate,” a statement said. “He has apologised to Mr. Diego Carlos Santos Silva. He has also addressed the second booking in an updated report and explained that the dismissal should not stand.
“Referees must know how to handle their responsibilities on the pitch in highly pressurised situations but also away from the pitch if they realise that they handled an incident poorly.”
After Ligue 1’s governing body ruled that the second booking shown to Carlos by Chapron was rescinded, the Brazilian is now eligible to face Toulouse on Wednesday.
The bizarre exchange overshadowed a seventh straight win in all competitions for PSG. Angel Di Maria’s early goal was enough to move them 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1.
ESPN FC’s France correspondent Ian Holyman contributed to this report.