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French third-tier coach apologises after alleged threats 'to hurt' reporter

Francois Ciccolini during a Ligue 1 game between Lille and Bastia.
Francois Ciccolini will meet with a reporter to discuss an altercation.

A French third-division coach who threatened to beat up a journalist after being asked a question he disliked has apologised.

France Bleu Mayenne radio journalist Martin Cotta made a complaint to police after Laval coach Francois Ciccolini allegedly threatened him with violence in the wake of a 2-0 defeat at Boulogne on Friday.

"You ask me bad questions. I'm going to hurt you. Perhaps I'm going to hit your head on the ground. Have you ever seen a journalist with a plaster on his head?" Ciccolini is reported to have replied after Cotta asked about his decisions during the match.

Laval initially appeared to blame Cotta, saying he provoked Ciccolini by not following the standard post-match protocol before reversing course on Thursday.

"Francois Ciccolini would like to apologise to the France Bleu Mayenne journalist, Martin Cotta," the statement said. "His words went beyond his thoughts. The meeting scheduled for Friday will help clarify the situation."

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