SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

UEFA probes PSG after Neymar, Mbappe deals

UEFA opened a formal investigation into Paris Saint-Germain on Friday after the French club broke the world transfer record to sign Neymar.

UEFA probes PSG after Neymar, Mbappe deals
Kylian Mbappe after scoring for France during the World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands Thursday. Photo: AFP

European football's governing body said it would look at whether PSG had violated its Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

“The investigation will focus on the compliance of the club with the break-even requirement, particularly in light of its recent transfer activity,” UEFA said in a statement.

PSG signed Brazilian striker Neymar for a world-record 222 million euros on August 3rd and completed a loan move for Kylian Mbappe on Thursday in a deal that includes an option to buy the French teenager for 180 million euros.

“In the coming months, the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body will regularly meet in order to carefully evaluate all documentation pertaining to this case,” the statement added.

“UEFA considers Financial Fair Play to be a crucial governance mechanism which aims to ensure the financial sustainability of European club football.”

PSG said they were “surprised” by UEFA's decision.

“The club is surprised by such a step as it has permanently kept UEFA's Financial Fair Play teams informed of the impact of all player transactions this summer while nothing obliged it to do so,” read a statement on the PSG website.

“The club is very confident in its ability to demonstrate it will perfectly respect the Financial Fair-Play rules in accordance with the financial year 2017/18.”

Mbappe's move to PSG has left many wondering how the Qatar-owned club can avoid sanctions from UEFA considering the investment already made on Neymar.

According to media reports, the only clause required to be met to make the club's option to buy Mbappe an obligatory one is for PSG to stay in the top flight this season.

UEFA will have to consider whether Mbappe's transfer fee is factored into PSG's accounts for the current season, or whether it will carry over to the following campaign.

The FFP system was first approved by UEFA in 2010 to try and combat soaring debts in the game.

From 2013 to 2015 clubs could only post a net total loss of 45 million euros, which was reduced to 30 million for the next three years, running until 2018.

Non-compliance with the rules can result in a series of disciplinary measures, ranging from a warning to the deduction of points, and even exclusion from European competition.

PSG have already incurred sanctions for a previous violation and were slapped with a 60-million-euro fine, 40 million of which was suspended, in 2014, and saw their squad for the Champions League cut from 25 to 21 players.

READ ALSO: PSG sell 10,000 Neymar shirts on first day

SPORT

French government: All athletes must be vaccinated to compete in France

All athletes and sports professionals who wish to compete in France will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19, government sources told AFP on Monday.

Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic
Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic. Photo: Oscar del Polzo/AFP

The French parliament has just given the go-ahead for the health pass to be converted into a vaccine pass, which means that anyone wishing to enter leisure and cultural venues – including sports grounds and stadiums – will have to be vaccinated.

This goes for the crowd, but also professional sports players and staff. The government has indicated that exemptions will not be made athletes who are based outside France.

The ministry said a new vaccine pass, “applies to everyone, to volunteers and to elite sportspeople, including those coming from abroad, until further notice.”

READ ALSO What changes when France’s health pass becomes a vaccine pass

Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said last week that certain events like the French Open could have a special exemption, when asked whether Novak Djokovic could play in the tournament, but this appears now to not be the case.

Questions had been asked about whether the unvaccinated Djokivic – recently deported from Australia – would be able to play in the French Open in May, but the ruling would affect all visiting sports professionals, including rugby teams from England, Ireland and Italy who are due to play in France during the Six Nations tournament in February and March.

Until now a health pass has been sufficient to enter sports grounds, which means unvaccinated players and fans were able to use a negative Covid test.

However once the vaccine pass enters into effect – scheduled to be later this week – only proof of vaccination will be affected.

French domestic sports teams were given the choice of either making sure that all their players and staff were fully vaccinated or playing behind closed doors.

SHOW COMMENTS