Paris Saint-Germain are standing by their sporting director Leonardo, after he was given a nine-month ban for pushing a referee in the tunnel.
The 43-year-old Brazilian was given the charge yesterday, and PSG were also handed a suspended 3-point deduction as the French League stated that Leonardo was banned from “the touchline, the referees’ dressing room and all official functions.”
PSG were recently crowned French champions but announced today that they will appeal against the ban.
The incident involving Leonardo occurred on May 5 where he was said to have barged into referee Alexandre Castro after the game.
A statement from the club was released earlier today with the decision to appeal against the ban, that could see Les Parisiens in deeper trouble.
Paris St Germain considers this decision to be unjustified and extremely harsh. As a result, and in solidarity with their sporting director, Paris St Germain will appeal this decision.
Leonardo claimed he had been shoved into Castro by the head match delegate Marc-Gerard Biolchini, but the committee decided the actions of the 1994 World Cup winner was deliberate.
(More: Leonardo handed nine month ban after pushing referee)
What could happen now?
Well, Leonardo will certainly be banned for some length of time. And if PSG’s appeal is successful then he’s ban may be reduced. However the most likely outcome, in my opinion, is that the ban could be lengthened further and the suspended point deduction could become a reality.
3-points isn’t much to make up. But still, starting the campaign on negative digits next year will not sit pretty with the hierarchy at PSG.
The clubs owners are already under intense pressure, as it seems manager Carlo Ancelotti prefers a move to manage Real Madrid with just a year left on his PSG deal. But the Qatari owners are digging their heels in and want to keep Ancelotti.
Their stubborn nature in the face of adversity seems to be a reoccurring theme. Leonardo himself was hospitalized after they won the French title and was seen arguing with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic just moments after they’d won the title.
All is not well in the French capital, despite their first title since 1994.
And that could cost PSG their sporting director and a points deduction if they’re not careful.
(More: Leonardo in hospital after PSG’s French title celebrations)