Leonardo set to appeal ban
Former Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo is back in the French capital on Thursday to appeal against the 14-month suspension that could scupper his chances of making a speedy return to football.
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Leonardo, 43, was banned from all official matchday duties until February 2014 by the French Football League (LFP) after barging into referee Alexandre Castro following PSG's home draw with Valenciennes last May. The sanction was extended on appeal to June 30 next year by the French Football Federation (FFF), which also requested FIFA extend the ban worldwide.
Should football's global governing body acquiesce, Leonardo, who has moved back to Italy and will marry his TV presenter fiancee early next month, would be unable to take on a similar role to that he exercised at PSG at an Italian club.
Along with two lawyers, the Brazilian will attend a hearing of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) in Paris where he will argue to the appointed arbitrator his punishment was excessive and will seek to have the threat of the global extension of the ban quashed.
Following the session, which should last no longer than two hours, either the two parties will reach an agreement or the arbitrator will form an opinion on the matter which the opposing sides have up to a month to accept.
Should Leonardo, who stepped down from his functions at the Parc des Princes having clinched Edinson Cavani's signature last month, fail in his attempt to have the ban overturned, he could turn to Paris' administrative court to continue his fight.