Former Ligue 1 referee admits to awarding contentious goals based on quality of move2 min read
Speaking as a pundit on Canal+, former Ligue 1 referee Tony Chapron has admitted to awarding contentious goals during his career, swayed by their “aesthetic” value.
Tony Chapron is one of the most recognised faces in French football after spending 12 years refereeing in the top flight, as well as in various European and international games. His career came to an unfortunate end when he was involved in an incident with Nantes’ Diego Carlos where he appeared to kick the player.
But the controversies around the 49-year-old’s career don’t appear to end there, with the Frenchman making some very open admissions during a recent appearance on local TV channel Canal+. Chapron openly admitted to not ruling out goals that should have been chalked off as he wanted to reward the fine efforts of the players.
Responding to a question in the context of a debate on Dimitri Payet’s long-range goal against PAOK last week, Chapron recognised that he had given decisions based on the “beauty of the move”.
He said, via GFFN: “Yes, because we are humans and we love football. When you see a great goal and you say to yourself, “there might be a little foul”, the move is so nice that you allow it. What will it change to the story?”
“What I want to see when I go to the stadium is extraordinary goals. I am the biggest football fan. Don’t forget that referees are above all football fans. And sometimes, yes, you’re enthralled by what a player does.”
Chapron highlighted one goal in which then-Marseille winger Lucas Ocampos scored an overhead kick in a 6-0 win over Troyes. The strike should have been ruled out due to Ocampos’ high foot nearly colliding with the defender’s head, but it was given due to the nature of the goal.
That game was in 2015, three years before Chapron’s refereeing career came to an end after an incident during PSG’s trip to Nantes. In the dying embers of the game, Chapron was seemingly inadvertently tripped up by now-Sevilla defender Carlos, with the referee appearing to lash out at the Brazilian from the ground. Chapron was given a six-month suspension, but ultimately decided to end his career on the pitch, moving into a punditry role.