Nantes defender Diego Carlos has described his collision with referee Tony Chapron in the game against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday as “historic.”
Carlos was shown a second yellow card in added time of his team’s 1-0 defeat despite seemingly colliding accidentally with Chapron, who then kicked out at him.
“I think what happened is historic, that’s never been seen before, that’s why so much has been said about it,” he said.
“When it happened, I didn’t understand. He cut me up when he changed direction. He fell over and kicked out at me.
“I turned to him to ask him what he had done, and he gave me a yellow card and then a red.
“I pushed him a little bit to ask him what he had done, because I didn’t understand.
“And then everyone gathered round us. Everyone pushed me away, but I told them: ‘I’m calm, I just want to know what he did.’
“Everyone said the same thing, no one understood. A Paris player came and asked me: ‘What happened there?’ I was calm.”
Chapron, 45, an experienced international referee, has been suspended until further notice.
However, he did send a report to the football authorities that meant Carlos’ second booking was rescinded, meaning he is available to face Toulouse on Wednesday.
“Normally, a player would be suspended for a lot of games if he tackled the referee. This time it’s the other way round, it’s the referee that tackles the player,” Carlos said.
“I think everything that has happened is good. The yellow and the red he showed me have been taken away, and his suspension is not my problem.”
The French Football League (LFP) disciplinary commission will open an investigation into the incident on Thursday.
Chapron’s actions could lead to greater punishment, but French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet called for forgiveness.
Le Graet told reporters: “There’s no reason to hammer him to this extent — he’s a very respectable person.”
Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman