Referee Regrets Issuing Balotelli Red Card

By Adebayo Williams

Ligue 1 referee Olivier Thual has expressed regret over his decision to send off Nice striker Mario Balotelli in the side’s 2-1 victory over Lorient on Sunday. Thual gave the Italian his marching orders after a second yellow card in the dying minutes of the match.  The former Liverpool forward had been red carded after an altercation with Steven Moreira.

“Olivier Thual has watched the match,” Pascal Garibian, technical director of refereeing, explained to L’Equipe.

 “Of course, he agreed that the two yellow cards were rushed and shouldn’t have been given. The referee is available to the disciplinary committee to say this on record.

“Then it will be up to them to judge if further action is needed.”

The disciplinary committee will decide Balotelli’s case on Thursday, with Nice hoping the card will  be overturned making him available for the visit of Lyon after the international break.


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