The French football league is opening an inquiry after claims from Morocco midfielder Kamel Chafni that a linesman racially insulted him during Auxerre’s 1-0 defeat at Brest on Saturday.
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The LFP said in a statement Sunday that Frederic Thiriez, the league’s president, has ordered the inquiry to be opened immediately ”so that light is shed on this matter as quickly as possible.”
Thiriez took the decision after speaking with Auxerre president Gerard Bourgoin, the league’s head of referees Marc Batta, and match referee Tony Chapron.
Chafni, who plays for Auxerre, was sent off in the second half of the match for continuing to protest at the alleged remarks.
Chafni told sports daily L’Equipe on Sunday that, when he told Perruaux he’d failed to spot defender Gregory Lorenzi’s foul on forward Roy Contout, the linesman responded with a racial slur.
”There was a foul that wasn’t signaled, I went toward the linesman and told him that it wasn’t normal,” Chafni told L’Equipe. ”He answered ‘Get lost, Arab.”’
Chafni says he then went to protest to Chapron about the abuse and received two consecutive yellow cards.
”I went to see the referee, I explained to him what happened,” Chafni said. ”He showed me a yellow card, I told him, repeated (to him) that it was unacceptable, and he shows me a red (card).”
The 29-year-old Chafni wants Perruaux to be punished.
”(I) want to go all the way with this. It’s serious, it goes beyond sport,” he said. ”I hope the league opens an inquiry and will clamp down. If they don’t believe me, my place is no longer in French football. I’m outraged.”
Chafni says that Contout, Brest forward Larsen Toure and Brest’s physiotherapist all heard Perruaux’s racial slur.
But Chapron said after the match that he ”categorically denies there may have been racist remarks leveled at Chafni” by Perruaux, adding that he knows Perruaux and that it would be entirely out of character.
Chafni intends to file a complaint at his local police station.
”I’m really outraged by what happened,” club president Bourgoin told the RMC radio station.
Reached by telephone, Auxerre police declined any comment.
The English FA is currently treating two cases of alleged racism during two Premier League games.
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra claims he was racially abused by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
The FA – and London police – are still investigating England captain John Terry for allegedly racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.