Leonardo confident of clearing his name
Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo is convinced his claims he did not deliberately barge into referee Alexandre Castro will be vindicated and the threat of a year-long ban lifted.
Leonardo, 43, was provisionally suspended by the French Football League's (LFP) Disciplinary Commission on Tuesday pending further investigation into events following PSG's 1-1 draw with Valenciennes at the Parc des Princes last weekend.
Canal+ pictures appear to show the Brazilian, reportedly irate at the first-half dismissal of PSG captain Thiago Silva, crash into Castro as the referee made his way to the dressing room. Leonardo claimed he was accidentally sent careering into Castro by one of the match delegates, and believes he has the proof to back up his argument.
"I'm sure that when they hear what I have to say and watch the pictures that come from the closed-circuit cameras in the Parc des Princes, which are different from the ones sent to them, the commission will see that the delegate blocks my path, and will understand what happened," Leonardo is quoted as saying in Le Parisien.
Should the commission find against Leonardo, he risks seeing his suspension extended up to a year, while PSG could also be docked points. Before a final decision can be reached, however, the LFP continue to dig deeper into the matter.
"It will take two to three weeks, depending on the investigator's work. I don't want to say any more about it," Pascal Garibian, the Disciplinary Commission president, told Le Parisien.
PSG are currently seven points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with three games remaining.