A great frustration, ’fed’ by confusing refereeing and some excessive unsportsmanlike behavior in the match of the French men’s national championship caused unusual scenes on a volleyball court.
Chaumont vs Nantes 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 26-28, 25-23, 15-13), the encounter of Round 19 of the 2021/22 Men’s Ligue A, so important in the race for the playoffs for the latter, ended in the general commotion two nights back. The post-match staged a huge tension on the court where players from both teams trash-talked and shoved each other. Luckily, only jerseys were ripped off, no blow was struck.
It all started ’thanks’ to the umpire in the 2nd set. Whether or not it was justified, Chaumont received 4 cards, 2 of which were red – one for late play and the other for protest – at 21-19 for them. It caused a flammable atmosphere on the court. In the tie-break, at 12-12, the referee whistled that the Nantes outside hitter Tomás López ‘carried’ the ball while spiking, giving the point to Chaumont. It was one of allegedly numerous compensation of the umpire.
When the match ended, the Nantes head coach Hubert Henno saw a middle finger flipped on him, that’s what he said to media, by the Chaumont ousted hitter Maxime Laumon with whom he exchanging harsh words at the net, with almost all players getting involved in trash-talking. And then, when returning to the locker room, the volunteer from the hall grabbed the arm of López from Nantes. In contact with the two men, Henno chose to intervene while Cubans from Chaumont, Osniel Melgarejo and Jesús Herrera, defended the volunteer so things escalated again. On the other hand, the Chaumont president Bruno Soirfeck claimed to the media that a person from the audience took him by the bag and pulled him from behind leading to many spectators coming down from the stands to provoke and insult him.