Valenciennes manager David Le Frapper has apologised to referee Stephanie Frappart for making sexist remarks about her that have been denounced as from "another time" by the French referees' union.
Le Frapper was unhappy that his side were not awarded a penalty in a 0-0 draw against Laval in a Ligue 2 match on Friday. And, after the game, the 44-year-old had trouble containing his frustration.
"Apparently there's a penalty but she didn't see it or she was too far way... I don't know," he said of Frappart at a postmatch news conference. "She was doing ice-skating before... I don't know."
Pressed again on the penalty call, he went even further in his criticism of Frappart, 31, who has been refereeing in the French second tier since last season.
"We deserved it, but she chose not to give it," he added. "She blew for things that didn't exist. But what do you want me to say? A woman coming to referee a man's sport -- it's complicated.
"I'm sorry but there were interventions where there was nothing and she blew her whistle. You shouldn't be in the wrong profession. For us, it's our job. Football is a committed sport."
The Valenciennes boss was quick to realise his error and returned to publicly apologise to Frappart, saying his comments were made in the heat of the moment and borne out of disappointment.
"My words have gone beyond my thinking," he is quoted as saying by sports.fr. "And of course women all have their place and even an important role in football... you see that with the French women's team.
"I'm deeply disappointed with what happened, with my reaction. It's not like me."
The apology did not save Le Frapper from being widely condemned for his initial comments, which the French referees' union SAFE said were "unacceptable."
"SAFE strongly condemns these remarks, [which were] sexist and from another time," a statement read.
Eric Borghini, president of the federal committee on refereeing at the French Football Federation, also expressed his disgust.
"Frustration does not allow a manager everything," he is quoted as saying by 20minutes.fr. "These remarks demean their victim but especially the person who utters them. It's unacceptable. They are remarks from the last century."