Top 14
Bernard Laporte lashes 'hopeless' referee
ESPN Staff
January 9, 2014
Grenoble's win over Toulon was the straw that broke Bernard Laporte's back © Getty Images

Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has blasted French referee Laurent Cardona as "hopeless" and "completely incompetent", accusing the officials of "robbing" the Heineken Cup champions in their weekend 22-21 loss to Grenoble.

Laporte stormed out of the ground after the Top 14 match at Stade Mayol, where Grenoble won with a controversial late interception try. Such was his rage that Laporte refused to talk to the media while club president Mourad Boudjellal speculated the former France coach could quit. However, Laporte returned to training on Monday but he was still clearly raging.

Laporte fired both barrels at Cardona on Thursday. "He robs us every time," the former sports minister in the French Government told RMC Sport. "On the game's last move, there was a strategic error, a referee error.

"It is not just this incident where he was hopeless. He was hopeless all the match. He is always hopeless. If we continue to work in a professional environment with amateurs, it's going to be a catastrophe."

Laporte described Cardona as "completely incompetent" and said that he "had had enough".

"I really wanted to quit on Saturday and I was right to leave the ground otherwise I would have been struck off for life," Laporte said. "But I thought that if I left, I would be paying him too much honour. I have a contract until 2015 and I will respect it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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