Monaco vice-president: Referees in Ligue 1 favour Lyon
Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has suggested French referees favour Lyon following his club's 3-1 defeat to OL on Sunday.
Vasilyev originally made the allegations in the aftermath of the game, which saw Monaco's Benjamin Mendy sent off in the first half and Lyon awarded a second-half penalty by referee Ruddy Buquet.
And in an interview with L'Equipe published on Tuesday, the Russian again stated that he felt Lyon benefited from an atmosphere of pressure on referees created by their president Jean-Michel Aulas.
"I wanted to denounce a particular context around Lyon matches which do not favour calmness," Vasilyev said. "They're strong words, I acknowledge that, but they aren't directly aimed at Mr Buquet. It's the context around Lyon matches I denounce. I'm not the first to do it, a lot of people have talked about that before me."
Statistics published by L'Equipe show Lyon have played the most minutes in France with a numerical advantage this season, had the most opposition players sent off and have been awarded the most penalties -- eight in total, one more than Monaco.
"For me, this is the moment to ask for the use of video replay in French football. We'll be calmer and more tranquil," Vasilyev said.
The Monaco vice-president added that he had "received several messages of support" from other Ligue 1 clubs for his words, and he was backed publicly on RMC by Rennes president Rene Ruello.
"It's difficult to referee and I understand they can't see everything," said Ruello, whose club have had five opposition players red carded in games this season, one fewer than Lyon. "But through intervening and applying pressure, it's true that Jean-Michel Aulas can have an influence on referees, without them even being aware of it, that's what I want to say.
"A referee isn't going to deliberately favour Lyon, I don't believe that. However, that they do so without knowing it doesn't surprise me."
Aulas has reacted angrily to Vasilyev's accusations, claiming he feels let down by a man he thought of as a friend, and is now considering what course of action to take.
"I'm not happy, and I'm thinking about what to do, the first thing being to make clear my incomprehension," Aulas told RTL. "I hope there will be an apology quickly and that the words were the result of emotion."
When asked whether he might take the matter to court, Aulas replied: "I'm going to think about it, but everything is possible. I think there has been very, very great prejudice [caused to himself and the club]."
Vasilyev, however, told L'Equipe he is unrepentant.
"Apologise for what? I don't see why I would apologise. There has to be light shed on this," he said. "The more we talk about the context around Lyon's matches, the more we'll have the opportunity to end it. The aim is to raise the level of refereeing in general."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman