Leonardo Faces Potential Ban For Bumping Referee

Leonardo is facing a potential ban for his shoulder charge on referee Alexandre Castro following Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-1 draw with Valenciennes at Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Cameras caught the PSG sporting director bumping into the referee in the tunnel after the final whistle in the intense Ligue 1 encounter.

PSG needed a win to clinch the French league title but will have to wait another week at least following the result. A spokesman for the LFP (Ligue de Football Professionel) revealed that the incident will be investigated.

“The disciplinary commission will look into the referee’s report and will decide whether to summon the club director,” he said.

Leonardo could face a maximum one-year suspension and the Ligue 1 leaders could possibly be deducted points as well.

However, the Brazilian vehemently denied the allegations and said he was actually the victim in the incident.

“I didn’t touch the referee with my shoulder but with my back because I was pushed,” he revealed.

“It was me who was assaulted. It was the delegate in front of me who blocked my path,” he added. “It was him who pushed me into the referee.”

The controversy started just before halftime in Paris when Castro sent off Thiago Silva for touching him when the PSG defender was arguing a call.

The expectant fans inside Parc de Princes were preparing to celebrate a league title and the red card sent jolts of frustration through the stadium.

But Stephane Lannoy, who is head of the Referees Association, defended Castro’s decision.

“I stand by his decision to send Thiago Silva off, you don’t touch authority,” Lannoy remarked. “It is time we calmed things down so referees can do their jobs serenely.”

PSG are currently seven points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table with three games to go but the prospect of Leonardo facing a ban could be an unwelcome distraction, as they try to clinch the title.