UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body has suspended Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc for one UEFA competition match. The sanction is due to the coach's improper conduct for a late kick-off (Article 11(2g) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations) at the UEFA Champions League Group C game against SL Benfica in Lisbon on 10 December.
The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body did not automatically trigger a serious penalty after the first infringement, but instead implemented a staggered approach, whereby the club and the coach were:
• warned after the establishment of a first offence;
• fined and suspended for one match after a second infringement – this sanction against the coach being deferred for a probationary period of two years;
• fined and suspended for one match in the case of a third infringement (revocation of the probation).
As this was the third time that the club and coach were responsible for a late kick-off during the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage, the Control and Disciplinary Body enforced the suspended sanction that was imposed on Blanc on 11 December.
As a result, the Paris coach will be banned for his team's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, to be played in Germany on 18 February. This means that Blanc may follow the game from the stands only; he may not enter the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before or during the match; he may not communicate directly or indirectly with his players and/or technical staff during the game (Article 62(1) DR).
In addition to suspending the coach, the Control and Disciplinary Body also fined Paris €10,000 for this offence.
The first violation of the regulations for a late kick-off was penalised with a warning against the club and the coach (Paris v Benfica on 2 October); the second infringement was punished with a fine against the club and a one-match ban under a probationary period against the coach (Paris v Olympiacos FC on 27 November).
The above decision is open to appeal (Article 54 DR).
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