PSG's Leonardo banned nine months for pushing referee

AP, Thursday 30 May 2013

Paris Saint-Germain's sporting director Leonardo has been suspended for nine months by the French league for barging a referee just outside the tunnel following a home match earlier this month.

Leonardo was already provisionally suspended by the LFP for appearing to deliberately shoulder-barge Alexandre Castro after the 1-1 home draw against Valenciennes on 5 May.

The LFP league's disciplinary committee met again on Thursday before the committee's president Pascal Garibian delivered the verdict.

In his defense, Leonardo claims that another match official behind him accidentally pushed him into Castro, although television footage appeared to show Leonardo barging into Castro of his own free will.

Leonardo has been heavily critical of French referees this season, launching one angry rant live on television after a 1-1 draw away to Montpellier in November.

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