A French judge has overruled a ban barring Parisian football club PSG from competing in the League Cup, causing anger at the French Football Federation. The ban followed the display of a hateful banner during a match by PSG fans.
Lens president Gervais Martel hit out at French legal authorities on Thursday following the overturning of a ban on first division rivals Paris Saint Germain competing in this year's League Cup.
PSG, the defending champions, were barred from the competition as punishment for an infamous banner displayed by their fans in April's final against Lens, which labelled people from the northeast as "paedophiles, unemployed, inbreds."
"I was expecting this decision," Martel told AFP on Thursday. "But I have to say, if it had been Lens who did something like this we would have been guillotined."
"Some clubs are privileged in relation to others... In this affair it would have been better for PSG to roll over and accept the decision."
The French Football Federation (FFF) have repeatedly blocked moves to allow PSG back into the competition, last month throwing out a proposal by France's National Olympic Committee that the team play games behind closed doors.
But earlier on Thursday PSG were readmitted to the tournament after a ruling by a French judge suspended the ban.
In a statement PSG said they were "happy that the judge had taken into account the work the club had done before and during the game to prevent all incidents of this nature in a match which wasn't organised by the club."
The FFF responded angrily to the ruling, with its president Jean-Pierre Escalettes intimating they might well challenge the decision. "I can't allow something like this to go unpunished," he said.
The LFP is going to delay the start of the competition. The first round was originally scheduled for Tuesday August 19 but now the draw for the first two rounds will take place on that date with the first round going ahead on Tuesday September 2.
Date created : 2008-08-14