Friday, 5 July 2013

Leonardo's year in the merde as PSG eye Cavani deal

They say a week is a long time in football, which by my calculations means a year is an, er, very long time.

Leonardo is about to find out just how long a year in – or more accurately out of – football is, after it was revealed this morning that the French Football Federation (FFF) had rejected his appeal against a nine-month ban from football-related activity. For good measure, the FFF decided to stick the boot in by adding an extra five months to the sanction, meaning he will now be out of action until the end of June 2014.

Leo was busted for shoving referee Alexandre Castro at half-time during PSG’s match against Valenciennes in May. Despite his protestations of innocence, I never fancied his chances of getting off scot-free; as discussed previously, the FFF need to be seen to be backing their referees, even if the referee in question is an idiot.

But the fact that he’s had his already-lengthy suspension increased was a bit of a shock. Perhaps they weren’t impressed by Leonardo’s no-show at the hearing on Wednesday.

“He’s in negotiations with a great player”, reported Jean-Claude Blanc by way of explanation, a statement which sounded to me a bit like the footballing equivalent of “the dog ate my homework”.  True or not, it comes across as a bit disrespectful, so you wouldn’t exactly blame the FFF panel for taking umbrage.

It will be interesting to see whether the club decide to take any further action against Leo. On the face of it his suspension shouldn’t interfere with his day-to-day business of being Director of Football too much; he’s banned from dressing rooms, technical areas, referees’ changing rooms and other such official business, leaving him free to travel to Italy, sign new players and schmooze rich people at his leisure. If anything it might work to our advantage that he isn’t able to stick his nose into team affairs all the while.

But this whole episode has been a bit embarrassing for the club, and you wonder whether QSI are considering jettisoning the smiley Brazilian. Certainly it's difficult to see what sort of role he would have were Arsene Wenger to show up next summer.

Meanwhile the PSG squad, sans Leo and all the international players, have flown out to Austria for a pre-season training camp.

New boss Laurent Blanc has been putting the squad through their paces this week, while also finding time to make kissy faces at Edinson Cavani.

"He's a player that I, and others, admire," said Blanc, who was officially appointed last week, paving the way for Carlo Ancelotti's long-anticipated moved to Real Madrid.

"If he became part of the PSG squad I'd be very happy"

Reports coming out of Italy overnight suggest a €64million fee has been agreed between the clubs, and that Cavani will sign a contract worth €8million-a-season. Nice work if you can get it.


Doug said...

BBC says PSG have a three point deduction. Have you read that anywhere else?

Matthew Gooding said...

It's a suspended three-point ban, so as long as we aren't nawty boys again any time soon it should go away

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms