Leonardo Unlikely to Cost PSG, Beckham, Ibrahimovic Ligue 1 Title with Ref Barge

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 7, 2013

Paris Saint-Germain were unable to seal the Ligue 1 title with their 1-1 draw with Valenciennes at the weekend, but events off the field have overshadowed the game.

PSG sporting director Leonardo was involved in an altercation with referee Alexandre Castro in the players' tunnel after the match when the former Brazil international appeared to barge the match official.

The French Football League Disciplinary Commission (LFP) will review the video evidence, which could lead to a fine for Leonardo and PSG.

However, the LFP also has the option of deducting points from the Parc des Princes side with just three matches of the Ligue 1 season remaining.

Carlo Ancelotti's team lead the table by seven points from second placed Olympique de Marseille, but needed a late equaliser from Alex to spare their blushes Sunday against Valenciennes.

PSG were angered by Castro's decision to show a straight red card to defender Thiago Silva two minutes before the end of the first period for putting his hands on the referee's chest.

Castro also booked four PSG players during the game, which saw Leonardo complain about the official after the game (L'Equipe via Sky Sports).

Leonardo believes the mounting suspension list could hurt his team's title hopes, but the possibility of him costing the club their first championship for 19 years seems remote, leaving PSG players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham to breathe easily again.

While the LFP has the option of deducting points for the offence, it has never followed that directive for similar previous offences.

Leonardo can brace himself for a sturdy fine for his actions, despite protestations that he was pushed toward the match official as he told L'Equipe (via ESPN).

It's the delegate in front of me, with a black ear-piece, who blocked my path. It's him who pushed me into the referee.

Look at the pictures: I don't touch the referee with my shoulder but with my back. Because I was the one pushed. It is me who was assaulted. The referee doesn't have the face of someone who's been attacked. That's because there was no violence on my part.

Fortunately for PSG, the incident has the look of a playground spat with no vicious intent on the part of the Brazilian, merely the surly reaction of a child.

But it is an issue the team could do without after nerves appeared to play their part in failing to deliver three points against 12th placed Valenciennes.

PSG travel to third placed Lyon Sunday, a day after Marseille play host to Toulouse.