French village footballer gets six months jail for attack on referee

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French village footballer gets six months jail for attack on referee
The player became violent after getting a second yellow card. Photo: AFP

A footballer for a village team in the east of France has been handed a six-month prison sentence for an attack on a referee who gave him two yellow cards for foul play during a match.


The man was playing for the team from Breuches-les-Luxeuil, a village of 700 people, when he became infuriated at being told off by the referee and attacked him in the latest violent incident to mar French amateur football.

“He wanted to go off the pitch to fight,” the referee told local gendarmes when he made an official complaint about the bad behaviour during the match last November against Conflans-sur-Lanterne, 20 Minutes website reported.

The accused, who already had 11 convictions on his criminal record, was convicted of “violence against a person charged with a public service mission”.

His lawyer argued that “anyone can have a moment of madness on the pitch, even (Zinedine) Zidane”, a reference to the infamous headbutt by the top French player in the 2006 World Cup final.

But the judge was not swayed, and in addition to the six months in jail ordered the player to pay €1,500 in damages to the referee and 1,000 to the UNAF national referee union.

The player was in February given a ten-year ban on playing football by the local soccer authority.



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