Alerte rouges sur la Ligue 1 / Ligue 1 / J3 /

Alerte rouges sur la Ligue 1 / Ligue 1 / J3 /


In addition to a string of goals, Ligue 1 had the right to a rain of red cards during the third day played this weekend with eleven expulsions, a record for 30 years. A rather usual severity at the start of the season due to the instructions given during the summer, but which has the merit of putting back on the table the solutions to make French arbitration grow, of which communication is not the strong point.

For a little over a year, gossips can no longer say that nothing is happening in Ligue 1. This weekend has once again given birth to spectacular matches rich in goals (38, the second total the highest in the XXIe century behind the 43 achievements of the 38e day of the 2007-2008 vintage), like the most prolific start to the season for 45 years, with the bar of 100 achievements reached after only three days. Another record, less pleasing this one, the eleven red cards distributed, including four by the novice Mathieu Vernice during Montpellier-Auxerre, which is unheard of for three decades. The culprits are called Vanderson (Monaco), Samuel Gigot (Marseille), Halid Šabanović (Angers), Mario Lemina and Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice), Khalil Fayad and Téji Savanier (Montpellier), M’Baye Niang and Nuno Da Costa (Auxerre), Romain Salin and Lesley Ugochukwu (Rennes). Some did not have to flinch, others were surprised by men in yellow determined not to let anything pass. The addition was also salty at the lower level, where eight players saw red, including three during the lunar match between Saint-Étienne and Le Havre. The consequences of a new line, firmer, imposed by the Technical Direction of Arbitration (DTA), or a simple ephemeral severity? That’s the whole question.

“I also had the impression that the referees had stricter instructions this week. I had spoken to my players about it before the match after seeing those at 3 p.m. » Olive pants

Set the tone

Since it is said that a good referee should not be talked about, it is not certain that this day punctuated by red crackers and mini-polemics will be presented as an example at future meetings. If players have sometimes shown too much aggression, the guarantors of the rules of the game have also multiplied the whistles and put psychology aside. “We should play volleyball or handball” blew Jean-Marc Furlan after the funny game won by his AJA in Montpellier. His Hérault counterpart, Olivier Dall’Oglio, made a statement to him at a press conference: ” It’s always the same story. These are each time new instructions, supposedly with a little more rigor. We know very well that this will quickly fade and return to normal. » An impression shared by Olivier Pantaloni a few hours later at Roazhon Park, the Corsican technician considering that the referees had received “Stricter instructions this week. I had spoken to my players about it before the match (reindeer) after seeing those at 3 p.m. »

A theory that is not a fantasy, according to the experience of Bruno Derrien, a retired French referee who followed the bustle of the weekend from his vacation spot. “Like the players, the referees come out of training, they were in preparation. And they must have been made aware of the protection of players and perhaps they were asked to punish dangerous acts more severely.he explains. It reminds me of Marc Batta who insisted a lot on shirt pulling in the area twelve years ago. It was necessary to clean up the surfaces and show Europe that we did not hesitate to sanction in France. It had lasted two or three days, then it had calmed down in the face of the outcry. There, it will be the same thing, it will go down again. » Niang, Šabanović or even Salin, who received two warnings for protesting while on the bench, were they victims of this desire to establish their authority very quickly and to calm the ardor of the actors? “The first days, you have to set the tone of the seasoncontinues Bruno Derrien. It’s the same thing in international competitions: remember in 1990, FIFA toughened up the situation so that bad tackles were more severely punished. Michel Vautrot refereed the opening match between Argentina and Cameroon and he expelled two Cameroonian players. He was the first to set the tone. It is the same mission for the referees during the first days. »

“It’s good when we talk, we understand each other better. Misunderstanding often comes from a lack of information. » Bruno Derrien, retired referee

Communicate to better live together

While waiting to find out if the next episode of this 2022-2023 season will confirm this potential severity (16 expulsions against 9 last year at the same stage; but almost the same number of warnings with a total of 119 against 118), there has this perpetual need to wonder about the possible solutions to develop French arbitration. VAR is one thing, communication is another, and it could even be the key to appeasement and the pillar of a human revolution, much more essential than the technological one. “There was a very interesting initiative by the coaches’ union and the DTNA to have a debate between coaches and referees, the meeting was canceled for lack of participantsrevealed Bruno Genesio this Sunday. I think it’s a shame not to have seen more coaches accept, because that’s how I think we’ll solve all these little problems. » If Stade Rennes had indeed asked to be present, other clubs felt that it was not a priority.


The project is colossal, but some precedents could inspire the actors of the moment. “Gérard Bourgoin had set up a meeting between the captains, the coaches and the referees before each match. I also know that when Gérard Houllier was DTN, he organized meetings between coaches and referees at the start of the seasonremembers Bruno Derrien. It’s good when we talk, we understand each other better. Misunderstanding often comes from a lack of information. » A great vagueness, changing rules and different points of view which deserve to be exposed in the calm of an air-conditioned room rather than in the heat of the action on the pitches and in the heat of a corridor leading to the locker rooms . “It would be a good thing for a representative of the DTA to go around the editorial offices to explain the rules, their vision of things and the priorities set for the referees.concludes the old French whistle. It would also be good if there was a speech at the start of the week for the general public, it should even have been done before the start of the championship. » While silence is golden, it can paradoxically be too loud. This Monday, the FFF told us that the DTA was “the object of many requests, and cannot respond to all of them. In addition, it has the principle of never commenting on the facts of the game or the matches. » To err is human, but the world of refereeing (and football in general) is still struggling to accept it.

By Clement Gavard
Comments by Bruno Derrien, Bruno Genesio and Olivier Pantaloni recorded by CG

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