France news

Montpellier's Jeunechamp banned for year

December 21, 2012
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Montpellier defender Cyril Jeunechamp may have played the last match of his career after being suspended for a year following an attack on a journalist.

Ligue 1
PA PhotosJeunechamp attacked journalist Jose Barroso

Jeunechamp, 37, was handed the ban by a French league commission after a violent exchange with L'Equipe journalist Jose Barroso in the aftermath of the Ligue 1 champions' 1-1 draw at Valenciennes on November 17.

An argument between the pair in the mixed zone at the Stade du Hainaut ended with full-back Jeunechamp punching Barroso in the face before being restrained by team-mates.

Four days later, Jeunechamp was an unused substitute for Montpellier's 2-0 Champions League defeat at Arsenal - his last involvement before the ban was imposed.

"The commission has decided to hand the player Cyril Jeunechamp a one-year suspension following his acts of brutality on Mr Jose Barroso, which led to Mr Barroso taking sick leave," a statement by the commission, which had provisionally suspended Jeunechamp two days after the Arsenal match, said.

The statement said Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren was handed a two-game ban for "his behaviour towards and intimidation of Mr Jose Barroso following the game".

The players were reportedly unhappy about an article Barroso had written, which claimed the squad were dissatisfied with the methods of coach Rene Girard.

Club owner Louis Nicollin had decided not to punish Jeunechamp internally, preferring to allow the commission to act.

Nicollin had condemned his player's actions as "intolerable", adding: "The player said he didn't do anything, the journalist claims he charged towards him.

"I would rather believe the journalist. In most cases, the players are little boys who can't stand the pressure. What annoys me is that the club gets the image of being a gang of louts."