Tuesday, May 02, 2017

France's referee body not happy with PSG's chairman over comments

The Syndicate for Elite Referees in France (SAFE) are not happy with Paris Saint-Germain chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi over comments he made about the refereeing in Sunday's 3-1 Ligue 1 defeat at Nice

Nice defeated PSG comfortably and the visitors also had Thiago Motta and Angel Di Maria sent off late on.

Referee Ruddy Buquet controversially denied Julian Draxler what looked like a clear penalty and appeared to lose control of proceedings at the Allianz Riviera on a number of occasions.

Al-Khelaifi was caught on camera telling the official: "Thank you, sir, for killing the match. Bravo, bravo!"

He later spoke with reporters and said that although he was at a loss for words to describe the refereeing, Nice deserved to beat his PSG team.

"It is a heavy defeat, so we are disappointed," Al-Khelaifi said. "If we need to improve, then the referee needs to as well. It really was... I do not know.

"We did not lose because of the referee, I am not saying that. However, in general, the level of refereeing in Ligue 1 needs to improve because it really is a nightmare. I am not talking about this match or the red cards."

The SAFE has since responded and questioned Al-Khelaifi's comments, expressing its hope that things do not get out of hand in the final few weeks of the Ligue 1 season.

"How can we not question such comments?" read a SAFE statement. "While he did recognise his team's weaknesses and the superiority of their opponents, the PSG president branded the refereeing 'a nightmare' -- an old recipe that does not solve anything as many of his counterparts have proved in the past.

"The SAFE wants to see responsible behaviour and thinking during this end of season run-in, with tensions running high on and off the pitch. We do not want to see matches played behind closed doors, under surveillance or relocated over simple sporting issues."

PSG are now three points behind Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 with three matches remaining and the leaders have a game in hand over their rivals from the capital.

Monaco are currently on course to be crowned champions for the first time since 2000, which would mean PSG not winning the title for the first time since Montpellier came out on top in 2012

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