‘We’re being told to more or less cheat with VAR’ – Ligue 1 refereeing in turmoil with technical director Stéphane Lannoy set to leave

A flying tackle in Clermont’s penalty box going unnoticed, an ankle-high Mason Holgate-like lunge reviewed but not red-carded during Reims-Lens, alleged double standards with Sheffield United loanee and Nantes striker Bénie Traoré given a 3-game ban for a tackle without serious consequences, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere raging after a string of controversial decisions during Lyon-Nice… It’s fair to say the refereeing standards in Ligue 1 have taken a dip recently. However L’Equipe report that a more serious incident occurred behind closed doors at half-time of Montpellier-Lille.

The outlet report that a furious Lille president Olivier Létang sent out a text message to the French FA’s technical director in charge of refereeing, former international referee Stéphane Lannoy, after an erroneous offside call. Lannoy then reportedly replied that Létang was correct, and the linesman was not. Létang then stormed into the referees’ dressing room at half-time to show his exchange with Lannoy.

The support Létang received by their own superior has stunned the Ligue 1 referees. The latter have, in return, lambasted Lannoy’s leadership and his lack of clarity regarding the use of VAR. “If the referees blunder like they do, it’s notably because the content of our training course is properly beyond belief“, adds an anonymous Ligue 1 referee to the outlet. “The FA’s line is completely blurry and changes through the season (…) We’re being told to more or less ‘cheat’ with VAR to protect a colleague’s decision, notably with offsides. There are multiple examples.”

L’Equipe understands that Lannoy is set to leave his post as the French FA’s refereeing chief. “The Ligue 1 referees, bar a few, have let go of him“, the anonymous ref said. “There is a deep feeling of unfairness among us. Today, we don’t know how to referee anymore. One day, it’s white. One day, it’s black. This can’t go on.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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