Paris: Referee Tony Chapron has been provisionally suspended after he appeared to kick out at Nantes player Diego Carlos in Sunday's French Ligue 1 game against Paris St Germain.
During stoppage-time, Chapron bumped into Carlos and fell over with TV footage showing him swinging his leg towards the running defender's shins.
"The technical direction of refereeing and the federal commission of refereeing have decided on the withdrawal of Tony Chapron, who had been appointed for Wednesday's Ligue 1 game between Angers and Troyes, until further notice," the French federation said in a statement on Monday.
Chapron will also be summoned before the league's disciplinary committee.
A few seconds after the incident, Chapron gave Carlos a yellow card, which resulted in the player being sent off as he had also been booked in the first half.
Chapron apologised to Carlos on Monday.
"This clumsy gesture was inappropriate. I therefore wish to apologise to Diego Carlos," he was quoted as saying in French media.
Nantes said in a statement that they asked the league to cancel Carlos's red card after the French federation said Chapron had amended his match report to explain that the player's move was not intentional.
"I know that refereeing is tough, but the referee sometimes need to put himself into question," Nantes forward Valentin Rongier said.
"If we do something like this, we get a 10-game suspension."
Nantes president Waldemar Kita told L'Equipe: "It's a joke. I got 20 SMS from all over the world telling me that this referee is a joke. What do you want me to tell you? If I talk too much, I'll be summoned by an ethics committee."