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Report: PSG told to sell millions worth of players by end of June

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According to multiple reports, UEFA has informed Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain that the club must raise a significant amount of money through player transfer sales by the end of June, or else they will face the wrath of Financial Fair Play sanctions.

The amount of money in the ultimatum has varied between reports, with both French publication L’Equipe and The Financial Times reporting the club is required to raise $70 million, while Loic Tanzi of RMC in France is reporting that number to be $47 million.

[ MORE: France World Cup preview ]

UEFA released a statement on Wednesday to declare its investigation into PSG “closed” but also said, “The financial impact of transfer activities as from the 2017 summer – up to and including the upcoming transfer window – and compliance with the break-even requirement for the 2018 financial year will remain under close scrutiny and will be thoroughly looked at in the coming weeks.”

Financial Fair Play requires all clubs to balance income with expenditures and attempts to keep clubs from expending extraordinary – and therefore theoretically unfair – amounts of money on player transfers. PSG spent a massive $260 million on the purchase of Brazilian superstar Neymar last summer, a transfer that was muddied by the involvement of the Qatari royalty. They also have an obligation to complete the permanent transfer of Kylian Mbappe after this past campaign’s season-long loan, which could potentially cost the club up to a reported $210 million.

UEFA punishments for an FFP breach could include a fine, salary restrictions, squad restrictions, or worst of all a ban from European play. PSG has qualified for next season’s Champions League group stage via their first-place finish in the Ligue 1 table. They could still be handed down a punishment should they fail to comply with the reported ultimatum.

Players who could be sold include aging and expensive attackers Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, and Javier Pastore, as well as midfielder Adrian Rabiot after his heated public response to being assigned reserve status for the French World Cup squad.

Buffon gets three-match European ban for Oliver reaction, rant

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Should Gianluigi Buffon continue his illustrious career, he’s set to miss three matches of Europa League or UEFA Champions League play.

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Buffon, 40, was suspended three games by UEFA for his reaction to a late penalty call against Juventus by referee Michael Oliver following a Mehdi Benatia foul on Lucas Vazquez in the second leg of the UCL quarterfinal second leg.

The goalkeeper was given a red card for his reaction, and proceeded to tear into Oliver with vigor after the match, saying he had a garbage can for a heart and lacked the courage to referee on such a stage.

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli called Oliver’s performance “total chaos.”

Report: AC Milan facing Europa League ban

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Woah.

The New York Times’ Tariq Panja is reporting that UEFA may boot AC Milan from the upcoming season’s Europa League on the grounds of Financial Fair Play.

AC Milan spent big last season, spending around $20 million-plus each on eight players plus significant “loan to buy” fees on two more.

[ MORE: Zlatan displeased with LA effort ]

That outlay helped the Serie A club to a deep Europa League run and sixth place in the domestic table, but AC Milan may not be able to feast on its European spoils.

After scrutinizing the club’s finances for several months, UEFA announced last week that the club had failed to convince officials that it is on sound financial footing and referred the case to the adjudicatory chamber of its financial control unit to recommend an appropriate punishment.

Milan bought Leonardo Bonuccia, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Lucas Biglia last season, also adding Franck Kessie and Nikola Kalinic in expensive loan deals which become purchases this season and next.

Now it could lose any number of those players and more if the UEL expulsion is complete.

UEFA announce Squad of the Season

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Yeah, it all went a bit bonkers in the aftermath of the UEFA Champions League final as Mohamed Salah‘s injury, plus Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both issuing far from subtle “come and get me” pleas sent the soccer world into a spin.

Yet there was quite a significant announcement from UEFA which you may have missed, as European soccer’s governing body released their UCL Squad of the Season for 2017/18 which was picked by their Technical Observers.

18 players were selected with champions Real Madrid having eight players selected (Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Cristiano Ronaldo) in the squad — the most of any team, unsurprisingly — while finalists Liverpool had three players with Virgil Van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Salah getting the nod.

Bayern and Roma each had two players in the squad, while Lionel Messi was Barcelona’s sole representative as Kevin De Bruyne was the only Manchester City player included.

Any glaring omissions? The likes of Sadio Mane, James Milner, Edinson Cavani, Harry Kane and Radja Nainggolan can all feel a little hard done by.

Below is the squad in full.


Egyptian lawyer launches $1.2 billion lawsuit against Ramos

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Egyptian lawyer Bassem Wahba remains furious with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos after the notorious world-class defender injured Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah in the UEFA Champions League Final.

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And so the lawyer is launching an audacious lawsuit against Ramos in the name of Salah and Egypt’s World Cup star, claiming damages could breach $1.2 billion.

Salah has said he believes he’ll be back in time for the World Cup, but Wahba isn’t taking any chances.

$1.2 billion dollars!

From Goal.com:

“Ramos intentionally injured Mo Salah and should be punished about his actions,” he claimed. “I’ve filed a lawsuit and a complaint to FIFA.

“I’ll ask for compensation, which could exceed €1 billion, for the physical and psychological harm that Ramos gave Salah and the Egyptian people.”

Wahba is not alone; There’s a Change.org petition with 360,000-plus signatures demanding Ramos’ punishment from FIFA and UEFA.

That said, while many are calling Ramos’ challenge on Salah a vile and malicious move — Salah cannot get his arm free from under Ramos’ — many others have defended Ramos.

Honestly, once you cross the billion-dollar mark, why not sue for much more? Say Wahba wins a settlement of $1.2 billion. That’s like $10.50 for each of Egyptian’s 96 million people, and doesn’t account for Egyptians living in other lands.

Mr. Wahba, we humbly suggest you at least bump it to the requisite cost of buying each Egyptian in the world a Salah jersey… or better yet just give them the money.