While Ligue 1 leader Paris Saint-Germain still has a seven-point lead over second-place Marseille, the club is now facing a possible point-deduction after Leonardo, its sporting director, shoulder-charged referee Alexandre Castro following Sunday’s feisty 1-1 draw with Valenciennes. The club’s situation would be further exacerbated by dropping points at third-place Lyon next weekend. Suddenly, PSG’s first French league title in 19 years is looking a lot less certain.
The French Soccer League’s (LFP) Disciplinary Commission confirmed it would review TV footage of the incident. According to the report, Article 2.9 of the LFP's regulations stipulates that for "deliberate barging or attempted punches directed toward a match official, transgressors can be sanctioned with a year-long suspension from all official functions, meaning they are banned from the locker room, the field and the bench, while points could also be deducted.”
Leonardo, who famously received a red card for elbowing Tab Ramos in the face during a Round of 16 game between the USA and Brazil in the 1994 World Cup, maintains that his path was blocked by another official and he bumped into Castro accidentally. Nevertheless,the Brazilian was clearly upset and had some strong words for Castro after the game.
Meanwhile, Marc-Gerard Biolchini, the principal match delegate who pushed Leonardo away from Castro before Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG’s president, intervened, said, “The pictures are clear enough … In 20 years, I've never known such an act of violence.”