Watch Astonishing Moment Referee Tony Chapron Kicks Nantes Defender Diego Carlos Before Red Card

A French referee shocked players and fans at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Sunday (January 14) when he kicked out at Nantes defender Diego Carlos and then sent him off.

Nantes were losing 1-0 to runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain after Angel Di Maria's early goal, leaving the hosts chasing an equalizer as the game ticked into stoppage time.

As Nantes pushed forward, PSG's 19-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe countered as defenders and referee Tony Chapron raced back to catch up with play.

Chapron, running at full speed, cut across Carlos to get a better view of the play and, in doing so, tripped over the Brazilian defender. He rolled over twice and, as he got up, Chapron appeared to kick out with his right leg at the defender, clearly believing the trip to have been intentional.

Chapron then produced the yellow card, Carlos' second of the game, and sent him off, a decision that bemused the home fans as well as Nantes chairman Waldemar Kita. Kita called the decision "scandalous" and said Chapron should be banned for six months.

"It's a joke," he said to French TV. "I received 20 text messages from all over the world telling me that this referee is a joke. If I talk too much, I will be summoned by an ethics commission. We have no right to say anything."

Claudio Ranieri, the former Leicester City manager who took charge of Nantes in the summer, praised his team's efforts against the giants of PSG but said the dismissal of Carlos had clouded the outcome.

"The most serious thing is that Diego Carlos will at least have a game suspension. Why?" Ranieri asked, with Carlos currently set to miss the trip to Toulouse on Wednesday.

Nantes are fifth in Ligue 1, 20 points behind leaders PSG and eight off Marseille in fourth, the final position to qualify for European football next season.

PSG were missing £199 million summer signing Neymar Jr. for the 400 kilometer trip to Nantes, but Di Maria's third goal in four games wrapped up the points for Unai Emery's team.

Diego Carlos and Tony Chapron
Diego Carlos, second left, and Tony Chapron, right, at La Beaujoire stadium, Nantes, France, January 14. Chapron sent Carlos off after tripping over him. LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty