France’s professional football union, the UNFP, has refused to award the prize for Ligue 1’s best referee in 2017-18 to Tony Chapron, who was banned for six months for kicking out at a player.
Chapron aimed a kick at Nantes’ Diego Carlos before sending him off during their league match with Paris Saint-Germain on January 14, after he had tripped when colliding with the defender.
Although he apologised, he was suspended by the Ligue de Football Professionnel following the incident, but SAFE, France’s refereeing union, slammed the decision as an attempt to “kill his career”.
SAFE made a further show of solidarity by voting for Chapron to be honoured with the award for the best referee in the top flight for this season.
However, the UNFP says it would be “ridiculous” to reward the 46-year-old and has decided to cancel this year’s prize, which would have been presented at the annual UNFP awards ceremony next Sunday.
“We proposed to SAFE, who recognise that this vote is political and not sporting, to award a prize to Chapron to honour his career and to award the trophy of the best referee in Ligue 1 to [Clement] Turpin. They did not want to,” said Philippe Piat, the UNFP’s co-president.
“SAFE did not wish to renounce their choice of Chapron, which is a provocation. As a result, we have decided not to award the trophy for the best referee in Ligue in on May 13.
“Our trophies are made to reward the best. They are not meant to serve as a political platform, nor to settle accounts.”
Coprésident de @UNFP, Philippe Piat a expliqué à @lequipe pourquoi notre syndicat a décidé que le Trophée de meilleur arbitre de @Ligue1Conforama ne serait pas remis, cette année.
— UNFP (@UNFP) May 4, 2018
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