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Leonardo ban extended by five months

The nine-month ban imposed on Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo for barging into a referee last season has been extended by more than five months at an appeal hearing and will now run until June 30, 2014.

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Leonardo, 43, will be unable to carry out any official matchday duties until the 2014-15 Ligue 1 campaign after the French Football Federation (FFF) superior appeals commission added to the ban handed down by the French Football League (LFP) disciplinary commission in May.

Leonardo was found guilty after TV pictures showed him shoulder-charging referee Alexandre Castro after PSG's 1-1 draw at home to Valenciennes on May 5.

The Brazilian, who was reportedly enraged by Castro's decision to show a red card to Thiago Silva, said he had been pushed into the referee by one of the match delegates.

The seven-member FFF panel even went beyond the maximum one-year ban for "deliberate jostling of a match official" stipulated in French football guidelines, perhaps irritated by Leonardo's failure to arrive for Wednesday's appeal hearing in Paris. PSG could still appeal to the French Olympic Committee.

The Ligue 1 champions' managing director, Jean-Claude Blanc, represented the club and told the media afterwards that Leonardo's absence was explained by him being involved in transfer talks with "a great player" - rumoured to be Edinson Cavani.

The FFF body made no decision on the suspended three-point deduction incurred by PSG as a consequence of the incident, instead asking for a definitive ruling on the matter from the LFP disciplinary commission.


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