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Nantes appeal Ligue 1 points deduction

Nantes have made an appeal to the French Football Federation (FFF) in an attempt to stop themselves from being docked three points for fielding an ineligible player.

Nantes coach Michel Der Zakarian faces the prospect of a points deduction.
Michel Der Zakarian's side are appealing the FFF's decision.

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Newly promoted back to Ligue 1 after a four-season absence, Nantes celebrated a 2-0 opening-day win over Bastia.

However, 19-year-old trainee Abdoulaye Toure came off the bench with 23 minutes left, when he should have been suspended for the game.

The teenager had been given a one-match ban on June 20 by the French Football League's (LFP) Disciplinary Commission, having picked up three yellow cards in fewer than ten competitive fixtures for Nantes' youth and reserve teams.

Notified of the club's oversight, the LFP's Competitions Commission is due to give their verdict on the matter on August 28.

Nantes' lawyer, Francois Klatovsky, though, has told L'Equipe he will seek a postponement of that decision to argue the club's case to the FFF's Supreme Appeals Commission, claiming the LFP's own failure to follow procedure should allow the Canaries to keep their hard-earned three points.

"The problem that we're highlighting is the notification of the suspension which was decided upon by the commission, but which the player knew nothing about," he said. "The Federation only put the decision on its website. However, all sanctions must be communicated via a recorded delivery letter. I consider, therefore, that there was no notification."

Nantes president Waldemar Kita had initially stated those responsible for keeping track of players' disciplinary status at the club had been on holiday at the time of the game, which was followed by a 2-1 loss to fellow Bretons, Lorient, last Sunday.

"We didn't understand why we didn't get a recorded delivery letter to tell us about it," Kita told RMC. "In principle, we always receive a letter, but this time neither the League nor the Federation sent us anything. We're going to see what happens."

He added: "We're going to see this problem through because we can't just let things like that happen."

The club could take its case to the French National Olympic Committee should the football authorities stand firm.

The FFF told RMC that Nantes' claim they were not aware of the publication of notification of Toure's ban on its website -- standard procedure for bans of between one and four games -- was scarcely credible.

A spokesperson said: "The Nantes officials should have known about this rule, because it was voted for in general assembly by all the representatives of French football, and has been in force for years."

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