Marseille’s Dimitri Payet defends himself after latest referee rant

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Olympique de Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet has defended the comments he made towards the referee of OM’s Ligue 1 match against Olympique Lyonnais.

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While Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s refereeing rant stole the headlines last weekend, he wasn’t the only Ligue 1 play to rail at an official.

Payet was also critical of decisions made during his side’s 0-0 draw at home against Lyon, particularly when a perfectly good Lucas Ocampos goal was disallowed.

The French international’s comments will be analysed by the league’s disciplinary committee and he may be in line for sanctions following his outburst.

However, Payet appears not to be recalcitrant, according to his comments on OM’s official website.

“How can anyone tell me off for my misplaced words towards officials,” began the former Saint-Etienne player, “when they were still on the pitch when I expressed myself?

“My words were not intended for them. Even if they weren’t elegant, there was nothing more than frustration.

“When we finish with a draw after having dominated another match until the end, when a goal of yours was unfairly ruled out, when we leave a match of such intensity, there is disappointment, massive disappointment.

“There’s also an extreme nervous tension. Suddenly, we externalise a maximum concentration of 90 minutes. It can be violent. I should have watched my language, you can criticise me for that, but I repeat, just in case, there was no insult towards the refereeing body or any other official.”

Payet’s Marseille are set to continue their assault on the Ligue 1 title with an away trip to relegation strugglers Racing Club de Lens on Sunday evening.

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