UEFA announced this Friday that they are sanctioning Leonardo Nascimento de Araújo, sporting director of Paris Saint-Germain, with one game until May 22 for breaches of disciplinary rules and sportsmanship in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16, played in March turns 9 at the Santiago Bernabéu (3-1 for Real Madrid). The decision, taken on June 7th and 8th by the Disciplinary Committee of the governing body of European football, was announced ten days later in a dossier published on the UEFA Disciplinary Records portal.
After the round of 16 game that saw PSG eliminated in their first major comeback of the year in Chamartín, Leonardo and the Parisian club’s president Nasser Al Khelaifi burst into the referees’ dressing room to voice their grievances loudly to Real Madrid sources. Seeing an employee of the white club recording the scene, the Qatari President tried to attack him, shouting “I will kill you!” Security staff from the Paris delegation eventually took the president to the PSG dressing room while Leonardo stayed behind screaming to erase the images.
The match’s referee, Dutchman Dannie Makkelie, included the following comment in the match log regarding Leonardo and Al Khelaifi: “They showed aggressive behavior and tried to break into the referees’ dressing room. Even after the referee asked them to leave, they blocked the door and the President intentionally hit and broke the flag of one of the contestants.”
Far from complying with Leonardo’s fiery demands, Real Madrid kept the footage to send to UEFA to denounce the facts. The investigation, which opened on March 10, the day after the game, has taken more than three months to come to a conclusion: a suspension for the Brazilian and an impunity for Nasser Al Khelaifi, who not only manager, but is also a member of the UEFA Executive Committee and President of the Association of European Clubs (ECA).
The Barça, also punished
FC Barcelona has also been sanctioned by UEFA, according to the document published this Friday. In his case, the penalty is economic: 10,000 euros. The reason is the “unsportsmanlike conduct” of the club Barça in the final of the Women’s Champions League, which the Catalans played on May 21 in Turin against Olympique de Lyon (1-3 for the French).
The Scottish Rangers were also fined around €8,000 for the behavior of their fans – throwing objects and projecting firecrackers – in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final, played against Leipzig in Glasgow on 5 May.
UEFA’s remaining penalties are spread across eight matches of the European Under-17 Championship in Israel, the European Under-19 Championship in the Czech Republic and the qualifiers for the 2023 European Futsal Championship.