St Etienne 2-2 Paris Saint-Germain

Ref admits errors in St Etienne-PSG draw

March 19, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Referee Antony Gautier has admitted he made "two mistakes" which led to goals in Sunday's feisty Ligue 1 encounter between St Etienne and Paris Saint-Germain.

• Beckham clashes with Brandao
• Blog: PSG blow two-goal lead

Gautier, 35, first exasperated the hosts by awarding PSG a penalty despite Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier having made very little contact with Ezequiel Lavezzi, who deliberately left a leg trailing before falling to the turf.

The referee then failed to signal a foul for a crude, late lunge by Brandao on Thiago Silva that led to Francois Clerc bringing the hosts level in the 2-2 draw, and inciting the anger of the PSG players.

"I'm willing to be responsible and acknowledge the two mistakes I made, something which certain other parties in the game could take inspiration from," Gautier, who was harangued by PSG duo David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in particular at the final whistle, told RMC radio. "I'm someone who takes full responsibility."

Part of that is likely to entail a report to the French Football League (LFP) Disciplinary Commission, which could lead to Brandao being suspended for up to three games should his challenge be deemed sufficiently dangerous to warrant sanction.

The panel will review footage of the incident, which occurred 18 minutes from time, though if any of them were inside the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday evening, they will have already seen it. While TV viewers at home winced at replays of the challenge, from which Silva somehow escaped without injury, fans at the stadium did too as it was mistakenly replayed several times on the big screens inside the venue.

In line with many European leagues, LFP regulations state controversial incidents are not to be shown publicly inside stadiums, and Saint-Etienne director general Stephane Tessier was forced to hurry from his seat to demand a halt to the replaying of the images.