Footballer banned 30 years for punching referee


An amateur French footballer who was dubbed a “fanatic” was given a 30-year playing ban on Friday for punching a referee.

“The penalty is appropriate. These fanatics must not be able to set foot on a football pitch again. They have no place there,” said Benoit Laine, president of the Loiret football district in central France.

The 25-year-old player, who represented Entente Sportive Gatinaise in a local cup game on January 8, was upset after being dismissed. Officials declined to release his name.

He punched the referee so hard that the official was signed off work for two days.

The team was also kicked out of the tournament for the next two seasons.