February 23 ------ An amateur player was suspended for five years in a local league in eastern France for biting one of his opponents below the belt during a post-match fight. The crime was committed after a second division game between Terville and Soetrich in a local league on Nov. 17. According to a local news website in Lorraine, a player from each side started fighting, another Terville player joined in, apparently trying to separate them. The Soetrich player responded by biting the peacemaker’s penis.
The victim required about 10 stitches and had to take four days off work. “The events took place after the match, in the stadium car park. There was an altercation, an escalation and things got worse,” said Emmanuel Saling of the Mosellan football district, adding that the blame was “more or less shared.” Saling said that because the “case was quite original”, the disciplinary committee had called an expert witness before deciding to suspend the Soetrich player for five years.
The injured Terville player was suspended for six months. “It’s quite rare to have sanctions of several years, there are less than 10 per year,” Saling said. “The case was a bit saucy, but… there must have been some nasty tension, so the smiles on the disciplinary committee quickly faded.” The match ended in a 1-1 draw which would have given Terville their first point of the season but they were punished with two penalty points and a fine of 200 euros (about $215 or P10,900) for failing to meet their safety obligations as hosts and for the lack of reaction from club officials when the fight broke out.