Leonardo suspended for 9 months for pushing referee

Paris St Germain sporting director Leonardo has been banned for nine months for pushing a referee, the French League (LFP) said on Thursday. Television footage showed Brazilian Leonardo bumping into referee Alexandre Castro with his left shoulder in the Parc des Princes tunnel after PSG drew 1-1 with Valenciennes in Ligue 1 this month.
"The (disciplinary) committee handed him a nine-month ban", the LFP said in a statement, adding that Leonardo was banned from the bench, the referees' dressing room and from all official functions. Ligue 1 champions PSG were also handed a suspended three-point deduction over the incident for the next season. Leonardo, whose suspension runs from May 8, had denied pushing the referee, saying he was shoved towards Castro by the match delegate. "The committee's task was to decide whether the shoulder barge was intentional", committee president Pascal Garibian told a news conference. "The commission retained this idea. The commission judges acts, players, and people independently of a club's notoriety". Leonardo, the former Inter and AC Milan manager, received a two-match suspended ban in November from the French federation's Ethics Committee for criticising the referee after Mamadou Sakho was sent off in a league game at Montpellier. Leonardo's latest suspension is a huge blow for PSG, who are reportedly seeking a replacement for Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti who has said he wants to leave the club. Leonardo would be on the short-list to replace Ancelotti who is under contract with PSG until June 2014.

Source: Yahoo Sports