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French third-tier coach suspended by FFF after journalist allegations

The French coach who allegedly threatened to assault a journalist has been provisionally suspended by the French Football Federation (FFF).

Francois Ciccolini, the boss of third division side Laval, allegedly told Martin Cotta: "I'm going to hurt you. Perhaps I'm going to hit your head on the ground" after taking exception to a question from the France Bleu Mayenne journalist following Laval's 2-0 defeat at Boulogne-sur-Mer last week.

Cotta filed a complaint with police on Monday and, after initially putting some of the blame on the journalist, Laval issued an apology from Ciccolini ahead of a clear-the-air meeting between the pair on Friday.

Ciccolini had been able to take his place in the dugout for his club's Coupe de la Ligue defeat to Clermont on Tuesday.

However, after being notified of the matter by the National Ethics Council, the FFF's Disciplinary Commission said on Thursday that the former Bastia coach would be "immediately suspended provisionally from all official functions" while it investigated the matter.

Laval published a photo of Ciccolini with Cotta during their meeting on Friday, saying the coach had apologised and his apology had been accepted.

"The Stade Lavallois and France Bleu Mayenne are going to continue their good collaboration in the peace, respect and professionalism which binds them," a statement said.

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