With Neymar Ltd now set up in Paris, some elements of Ligue Un have not dealt well with the added media exposure. And few have floundered beneath the global spotlight, however. This plunged to its most farcical depth last month, when referee Tony Chapron inexplicably kicked a Nantes player before sending him off.
While that was sufficiently absurd to be highly entertaining, an incident from the French league was far more unsettling.
In the 72nd minute of last night's game between Dijon and Nice, Mario Balotelli was jeered by the Dijon supporters after shooting wide. He gestured to the Dijon fans to be quiet, and then approached to the referee to register his anger. In response, the referee booked him.
Upon his booking, Nice tweeted that Balotelli had been booked for complaining about racist abuse.
In the meantime, Mario Balotelli has been given a yellow card, after... getting annoyed with racist insults from the public.
Dans l’intervalle, Mario Balotelli a hérité d’un carton jaune, après… s’être agacé d’insultes racistes du public. pic.twitter.com/5C1V8MXBYq
— OGC Nice (@ogcnice) February 10, 2018
No other details were given, and the incident wasn't raised by coach Lucien Favre or club president Jean-Pierre Riviere in their respective post-match diatribes about the referee's performance.
Dijon won the game 3-2, lifting them to 12th in the table. Nice remain in eighth place.