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OFFBEAT

VIDEO: French ref ridiculed after kicking player… and then sending him off

French referee Tony Chapron became the pantomime villain of Paris Saint-Germain's 1-0 win at Nantes on Sunday, after responding to an accidental collision with Diego Carlos by kicking the Brazilian and sending him off.

VIDEO: French ref ridiculed after kicking player... and then sending him off
AFP

In injury time and with PSG on the counter-attack, Chapron stepped across the backtracking Nantes centre-back Carlos and tumbled to the floor.

The official stunned the stadium and those watching at home by kicking out at Carlos while still on the ground, in an incident reminiscent of David
Beckham at the 1998 World Cup, before brandishing a second yellow card at the unfortunate player.

On Monday the French football federation suspended Chapron until further notice.

 

 

 

“He told me that he had never wanted to kick the player and that he had felt himself pushed in the back,” said Nantes president Waldemar Kita after
talking to Chapron.

“It's a joke. I got 20 text messages from across the world telling me this referee is a joke,” Kita told French TV. “What do you want me to say? If I
speak too much I'll be called in front of an ethics commission. We have no right to say anything.”

Nantes midfielder Valentin Rongier had a good view of the incident and called for the referee to be given a lengthy ban.

“He says he slipped, but I know he kicked him,” Rongier told Canal+.

“I know it's very difficult to referee but you have to question them from time to time… We do that, we get a 10-match ban.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker and ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas were among those to express their bemusement on Twitter.

“Surely the good man will have apologised. It was spontaneous,” wrote Casillas.

“Yes, for me it's agression and red! Three matches minimum!”

OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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