June 20 – UEFA have cleared their own executive committee member Nasser al-Khelaifi (pictured) of any wrongdoing despite finding his club Paris Saint-Germain guilty of misconduct for confrontations with match officials after being knocked out of this season’s Champions League.
PSG have never won the tournament despite all their riches and UEFA were placed in the awkward position of investigating one of their own inner circle when opening disciplinary proceedings against club president Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo after they allegedly confronted officials in the aftermath of PSG being eliminated by Real Madrid.
A second-half hat trick by Karim Benzema lifted Madrid to a stunning second-leg comeback in the round of 16. Afterwards, Al-Khelaifi, according to eye-witness reports, stormed into Real Madrid’s changing room by mistake before racing into PSG’s changing room where he abused the players, before entering the referee’s room to complain. On the way he allegedly left a trail of destruction as his frustration and anger boiled over.
UEFA published its verdict late Friday, confirming charges of “violating the basic rules of decent conduct” and “unsporting conduct”.
However, the only sanction was a one-match ban from a UEFA competition match for Leonardo. The former PSG player and Brazil international was fired by the club last month.
Al-Khelaifi joined UEFA’s executive committee in 2019 as a representative of the influential European Club Association which he now heads. UEFA did not provide reasons why the Qatari, one of the most powerful figures in world football, was not cited in its disciplinary statement.
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