Alerte rouges sur la Ligue 1

Alerte rouges sur la Ligue 1

In addition to a streak of goals, Ligue 1 was entitled to a shower of red cards during the third matchday played this weekend with eleven expulsions, a record in 30 years. A fairly common severity at the start of the season due to the instructions given during the summer, but which has the merit of putting solutions on the table to make French arbitration grow, of which communication is not the strong point.

For just over a year, gossips can no longer say that nothing is happening in Ligue 1. This weekend has once again given birth to spectacular games rich in goals (38, the second highest total in the 21stme century behind the 43 achievements of the 38me vintage day 2007-2008), as the most prolific start to the season in 45 years, reaching the 100 milestone in just three days. Another record, less pleasing this one, the eleven red cards distributed, including four from the rookie Mathieu Vernice during Montpellier-Auxerre, unprecedented for three decades. The culprits are 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 in the lower category, where eight players saw red, including three during the lunar match between Saint-Étienne and Le Havre. The consequences of a new, firmer line imposed by the Technical Directorate of Arbitration (DTA), or a simple ephemeral severity? That’s the whole question.

“I also got the impression that the referees had stricter instructions this week. I talked to my players about it before the game after seeing them at 3 pm » olivier pantaloni

Set the ringtone

As it is said that one should not speak of a good referee, it is not certain that this day marked by red firecrackers and mini-controversies will be presented as an example in future meetings. If sometimes the players have shown too much aggressiveness, the guarantors of the rules of the game have also multiplied the whistles and left psychology aside. “Should we play volleyball or handball” , breathed Jean-Marc Furlan after the fun match 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. They 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 coach considering that the referees had received “Tighter instructions this week. I had talked to my players about it before the game. (reindeer) after seeing them at 3 pm »

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 aware of player protection and perhaps asked to punish dangerous acts more severely.he explains. It reminds me of Marc Batta who insisted a lot on the shirt thrown away in the area twelve years ago. We had to clean surfaces and show Europe that we do not hesitate to sanction in France. It had lasted two or three days, then he had calmed down before the clamor. There it will be the same, he will go down again. » Niang, Šabanović or even Salin, who received two warnings for protesting on the bench, were they victims of this desire to establish their authority very quickly and calm the ardor of the actors? “The first few days must set the tone for the seasoncontinues Bruno Derrien. It is the same in international competitions: remember that in 1990, FIFA tightened the situation so that bad tackles were punished more severely. Michel Vautrot refereed the opening match between Argentina and Cameroon and sent off two Cameroonians. 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. Misunderstandings often stem from a lack of information. » Bruno Derrien, retired referee

Communicate to live better

Waiting to find out if the next chapter of this 2022-2023 season will confirm this potential seriousness (16 expulsions against 9 last year in the same stadium, but almost the same number of cautions with a total of 119 against 118), this perpetual need to wonder about 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 from the coaches’ union and the DTNA to have a debate between coaches and referees, the meeting was canceled due to lack of participantsrevealed Bruno Genesio this Sunday. I think it’s a shame we haven’t seen more coaches accept, because that way 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 organized 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 beginning of the season.recalls Bruno Derrien. It’s good when we talk, we understand each other better. Misunderstandings often stem from a lack of information. » A great vagueness, changing rules and different points of view that deserve to be exposed in the calm of an air-conditioned room and not in the heat of the action on the fields and the heat of a corridor that leads to the changing rooms. “It would be nice to have a representative from the DTA tour the newsroom to explain the rules, their vision of things and the priorities set for the referees.ends the old French whistle. It would also be nice if there was a speech at the beginning of the week for the general public, it should even have been done before the start of the championship. » While silence is golden, paradoxically it can be too loud. This Monday, the FFF told us that the DTA was “subject to many requests, and cannot respond to all of them. In addition, he 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
Commentary by Bruno Derrien, Bruno Genesio and Olivier Pantaloni collected by CG

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