LFP to probe alleged racism
The president of France’s Professional Football League (LFP), Frederic Thiriez, on Sunday called for an investigation into claims AJ Auxerre’s Kamel Chafni was racially abused by a linesman. Chafni, a Morocco international, was sent off following an altercation with assistant referee Johann Perruaux in the 55th minute of Auxerre’s 1-0 loss at Stade Brestois 29 on Saturday. The midfielder had to be restrained by his teammates, as well as players from Brest, and as he left the pitch, following a delay of five minutes. He said he had been the victim of racist abuse. “The LFP president has spoken with the Auxerre president, Gerard Bourgoin, the Director of National Refereeing, Marc Batta, and the referee from the match, Tony Chapron,” a statement released by the LFP said. “Frederic Thiriez has demanded the opening of an inquiry in order to shed light on this affair as quickly as possible.” Interviewed on TV station Canal+ on Sunday evening, Chafni stood by his version of events. “I went over to the linesman to ask him why he hadn’t given us a free-kick,” he said. “I might have been a bit aggressive, but he replied: ‘Get lost, Arab.’ I went to see Mr Chapron, as it was a serious incident, and he gives me a yellow card without trying to understand, and then he gives me a red card, even though there was a racist insult. I’m angry with Mr Chapron. It was a serious situation and he gives a card without even thinking about it.”
PSV close in on leaders
PSV Eindhoven thrashed Heerenveen 5-1 away on Sunday to close to within one point of Dutch league leaders AZ Alkmaar, who suffered a 2-1 defeat at NAC Breda. PSV settled the issue in their most convincing performance this season in six minutes in the first half, when Ola Toivonen struck twice and Tim Matavz added a third. Early in the second half, Georginio Wijnaldum headed home the fourth followed by a goal from Brazilian Marcelo, before Rajiv van la Parra gave the hosts their consolation goal. Anthony Lurling put Breda ahead against Alkmaar with a sophisticated chip over goalkeeper Esteban after 31 minutes, but on the stroke of halftime Brett Holman equalized. In the final minute, Milano Koenders, on loan from Alkmaar, handed the leaders their third defeat of the season. Alkmaar remain top with 38 points after 17 matches, followed by PSV on 37. Twente, 3-2 losers at Feyenoord, are third with 33 points, ahead of Ajax on on goal-difference. Ajax cruised to a 4-0 win over 10-man ADO Den Haag. Christian Eriksen opened the scoring on 19 minutes after Ramon Leeuwin was sent off and second-half goals by Theo Janssen, Dmitry Bulykin and Miralem Sulejmani sealed the win.
Sporting lose ground
Sporting lost ground to Benfica and Porto at the top of the league after needing a late equalizer from Elias to rescue a 1-1 draw at Academica on Sunday. The result left Sporting in third with 27 points from 13 matches, six behind Benfica and Porto. Ederzito opened the scoring for Academica in the 28th minute, but Elias leveled the scores in the 80th minute to snatch a point. Elias was sent off in the 89th minute to damage Sporting’s hopes of a late winner. Benfica beat Rio Ave 5-1 on Friday, while Porto had a 2-0 home win against Maritimo on Saturday. The leaders have been joint top for nine rounds. Also on Sunday, Feirense had a 2-1 win over Leiria, Nacional drew 1-1 with Vitoria Setubal and Beira-Mar won 3-0 at Pacos Ferreira.