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PSG penalized for mistake in European Cup

HDN | 8/20/1997 12:00:00 AM |

UEFA alters the Paris club's 3-2 defeat in Bucharest to 3-0 loss after ruling that defender Fournier should not have played Reuters Paris- Paris St. Germain's European Cup campaign suffered a major setback when UEFA penalized them two goals for fielding a suspended player against Steaua Bucharest in a preliminary round first leg match. A PSG spokesman said that UEFA had altered the club's 3-2 defeat in Bucharest last week to a 3-0 loss after ruling that defender Laurent Fournier was ineligible.

  • UEFA alters the Paris club's 3-2 defeat in Bucharest to 3-0 loss after ruling that defender Fournier should not have played

    Reuters

    Paris- Paris St. Germain's European Cup campaign suffered a major setback when UEFA penalized them two goals for fielding a suspended player against Steaua Bucharest in a preliminary round first leg match.

    A PSG spokesman said that UEFA had altered the club's 3-2 defeat in Bucharest last week to a 3-0 loss after ruling that defender Laurent Fournier was ineligible. Fournier, who played the whole match against the former European Cup winners, should not have been on the pitch because of his bookings from last season.

    "We forgot about the suspension of Laurent Fournier," PSG's sporting director Claude Le Roy said, calling the blunder a "catastrophe" for the club.

    He told France Info public radio that PSG had perhaps focused too much on the suspension of striker Florian Maurice and how to resolve other problems.

    "UEFA did inform the club in August that Laurent Fournier was suspended, and such things happen, even though it may sound incredible in a club considered extremely structured like ours," added Le Roy.

    "We're completely crushed by this," he said. "There's great sadness and incredulity at PSG today."

    "Statistically there are not such great chances for qualification after losing a first leg 3-0 defeat."

    The punishment meant that PSG, French league runners-up last season, will have to score at least three goals in the return match in Paris on August 27 to have a hope of progressing to extra time and a penalty shoot-out.

    Failure would mean a financially disastrous elimination from the lucrative tournament.

    Steaua officials were surprised by the news from Paris and said they had made no protest to UEFA about Fournier.

    Steaua coach Mihai Stoichita was also concerned about the effect of the decision on the PSG players.

    "I'm really afraid now when I think of the second leg in Paris," he said. "I fear that they might stop at nothing in order to beat the 3-0 odds."

    Team captain Marius Lacatus was not happy either. "I can imagine what PSG must be feeling right now, hearing they lost to a bureaucratic decision, made off the pitch," Lacatus said.

    The captain will miss the away leg because of a suspension after two bookings.

    Steaua president Marcel Puscas said he found it hard to believe that a club like PSG could have made such a mistake.

    "But this decision will not change in any way our team's preparations for the Paris game," he added.

    "In Paris, we must show on the field that we don't need a UEFA decision to go further in the Champions' League."

    Defeat for PSG could also set back suggestions of a stock market listing for the club, bought in 1991 by the Canal Plus cable television network.

    Canal Plus said in February it may eventually be interested in listing PSG on the London stock exchange but had no plans to do so in 1997.

    PSG's Brazilian manager Ricardo said the UEFA punishment was the worst disappointment of his career because of the heavy investments made in buying in new players.

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