Red Star Belgrade has asked for Mathias Lessort to be suspended until the end of the season after the French international violently attacked one of his players in the Serbian basketball derby.
Monday evening, just after the whistle of this boiling derby counting for the 21st day of the Adriatic Basketball League, won by Partizan (92-81), the 27-year-old pivot violently attacked the international Serbian Filip Petrusev, 22, before being arrested by other players, according to an AFP photographer.
In a press release, L’Etoile Rouge, which even denounces a “punch”, demands “from the ABA league officials the suspension until the end of the season for Mathias Lessort”.
After this match won by Partizan, while Etoile Rouge had led at one point with a 20-point lead, Lessort’s team occupies first place in the Adriatic League table, three points ahead of its rival , five days before the end of the season.
A former Red Star player, Lessort returned to Belgrade, but to play for Partizan where he became a mainstay of the team and a hero of the black and white club’s supporters, the “grobari” (“The Gravediggers”) ).
The French player, author of 27 points and 8 rebounds in this match, was very criticized, even insulted, on the networks after this incident.
Throughout the game, the tension was very strong between Lessort and Petrusev. The derbies between Etoile Rouge and Partizan are always explosive, whether in basketball or football.
“What he did at the end of the game is unacceptable”
Partizan coach Zeljko Obradovic apologized to Petrusev in a press conference after the game.
“Mathias Lessort is an incredible man, with incredible energy, and who brings great things to this team, in terms of basketball and humanly. But what he did at the end of the match is unacceptable. As a coach, I want to apologize to Filim Petrusev,” he said.
Filip Petrusev went to a police station on Wednesday to give a statement, according to Serbian sports website Sportklub.rs.
Lessort hopes to compete with the France team in the World Cup (August 25 – September 10).