LE SPORTCAST

Audio: The week in French sports

3 min

This week on "Le Sportcast": Ligue 1 referees on strike, Lille outclass title-holders Marseille (1-2) and more from the European Indoor Championships in Paris.

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This week in Le Sportcast, Etienne Michon of Backpagefootball.com  joins France24.com sport editor Emmanuel Versace to discuss this weekends action. 

Football - Ligue 1

"Grève" (Strike). For the first time in French football history, Ligue 1 referees were replaced by their Third division colleagues on Day 26. The reason? The Ligue 1 refs threatened to delay all the games in protest at the recent spate of complaints and abuse from club coaches and presidents. Unofficially, they would also like a share of the juicy new contract signed between the French Football Federation (FFF) and Nike (€320m until 2018). That's perhaps why they threatened to wear Adidas shirts on the pitch as well... There was no way FFF could allow that. After originally asking Italian referees to replace their French counterparts and receiving a firm ‘Non’, they called in the non-professional Third division refs. Luckily for all, they worked out pretty well.

FOOTBALL: LIGUE 1 STANDINGS

"Passation de pouvoir" (a transfer of power). This weekend there was a shock in Ligue 1: frontrunners Lille outplayed title holders Marseille at home (1-2). Lying in fourth position, can Olympique Marseille really retain their title?

Athletics European Indoor Championships

"Grand bond en avant" (a great leap forward). This weekend, top European athletes were in Paris to compete in the European Indoor Championships. Triple jump World champion Teddy Tamgho made another great leap forward beating his own record by one centimeter at 17.92m.

"Déception" (deception). European outdoor champion (100m, 200m and 4x100m) and hot favorite French Christophe Lemaitre (6"58) was surpassed by two 32-year-old veterans: 2004 vice-Olympic champion Francis Obikwelu (6"54) and World record holder Dwain Chambers (6"54). The Brit talked to France24.com.

Tennis - Davis Cup

"Renaissance" (renaissance). Cast aside for last year's campaign by the French tennis team’s coach Guy Forget, this weekend Jeremy Chardy finally took his revenge during the Davis Cup’s last 16.  In the fifth and last game against Austria, the 49th World seeded defeated Austrian Martin Fischer (138th) in Vienna (2-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3) and helped France reach the quarter finals. In July, Les Bleus will face Germany.

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