Stéphane Lannoy, technical director of arbitration delegated to the professional sector, was dismissed by the French Football Federation, his employer, AFP learned on Wednesday from a source close to the matter. Sébastien Moreira, manager of video assistance for arbitration within the body, also challenged in the crisis that French arbitration has been going through since November 2023, suffered the same fate as Lannoy.

Known to be close to the leaders of professional clubs, but contested by some of the referees for whom he was responsible, precisely because of this proximity and a technical line requested that was too vague or fluctuating, particularly on VAR, Lannoy had been in the hot seat for several months . His disagreement with Antony Gautier, the technical director of refereeing, his hierarchical superior, had not helped anything.

The former international referee was received by the FFF for an interview prior to a sanction which could go as far as dismissal, on Monday March 4, before his fate, therefore a dismissal, was sent to him by mail on Friday March 8. Until the end of the season, Antony Gautier will act as interim manager, holding three hats, that of boss of French referees, that of manager of professional referees and that of manager of VAR.

Gautier was already acting as Lannoy and Sébastien Moreira, who were both on sick leave until March 21 and March 26, respectively. The “Refereeing” group within the executive committee of the Federation will have to find successors for the coming season. It should take into account the opinion of the Ligue 1 college, representing the elite clubs, which wishes to have the right to a say in the choice of the person responsible for the game directors of their matches.

This college, meeting at the LFP in Paris last week, reaffirmed the need to set up (…) a liaison committee comprising the leaders of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 and those responsible for refereeing from the Federation French (FFF). A committee which in reality already existed since November 2022, but which had never been able to meet. The name of Ruddy Buquet, 47, is circulating to replace Lannoy, but it is not certain that he wants to end his career as a referee.