Blanc: Financial Fair Play will not hinder PSG

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc on Friday said that the Ligue 1 champions will be an even better side next season despite inevitable sanctions from UEFA in relation to Financial Fair Play.

Blanc: Financial Fair Play will not hinder PSG
Photo: AFP

The club from the French capital are expected to face limitations on how many players they can sign this summer and how many players they can include in their squad for next season's Champions League, but Blanc believes they can get around that by carefully selecting their targets.

"I think next year we will improve one or two things. We will wait to find out the Financial Fair Play punishments, but I think we will still be able to improve the team," said Blanc, whose side travel to Lille on Saturday knowing a win will see them set a new record for the most points in a Ligue 1 season, beating the previous best of 84, set by Lyon in 2006.

"We already have a very, very good team, a team that has been together for two years and is getting to know itself well.

"We need to target the right areas and I am convinced we will improve the squad. The club has considerable means but the solution, even without Financial Fair Play, is to improve in terms of quality.

"I don't think we need seven, eight or nine players. Not many players will come to PSG but those who do come will give us a leap in quality."

Blanc, who on Thursday signed a one-year contract extension keeping him at PSG until 2016, has left captain Thiago Silva out of the squad for the game at Lille, saying that the Brazilian is "physically and mentally exhausted".

"Thiago Silva will not play (against Lille)," said Blanc, adding that the centre-back could also miss the final match against Montpellier.

"As the goals have been achieved he wants to heal himself, it's understandable," said Blanc, adding that Silva had often played "in pain this season".

Blanc added that after helping PSG to a second straight Ligue 1 title on Wednesday Silva was now focusing on "Brazil, who have a chance of winning the World Cup".

Blanc can afford to let his World Cup-bound players rest with Maxwell also part of the Brazilian squad, and Salvatore Sirigu (Italy), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye (France), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina) and Gregory Van der Wiel (Netherlands) also expected to compete in the tournament which begins on June 12th.

Cavani and Van der Wiel will also be absent against Lille due to minor injuries.

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French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.


Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.