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6-month ban for Brandao headbutt on Motta

The suspension rules the Brazil striker out of 24 games.

Motta after the incident.
Motta after the incident.

BASTIA’S BRAZILIAN STRIKER Brandao has been hit with a six-month ban for head-butting Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Motta, ruling him out for 24 games with the Ligue 1 side.

Sebastien Deneux, who chaired the French football league’s disciplinary commission hearing, described the incident as “an inexcusable and unjustified assault”.

Brandao had been provisionally suspended on August 21, five days after the clash, but is now ruled out until February 21, meaning he will miss at least 24 games.

The 34-year-old will also appear in court on November 3 to face criminal charges of premeditated assault in a sporting arena. If found guilty, he could be jailed and fined.

Images captured on CCTV cameras in a corridor of the PSG stadium show Brandao coolly awaiting Motta, also Brazilian, before the assault.

In a similar case in 2011 Lens player Gabriel Cichero was suspended for ten months, before a criminal court handed him a five-month suspended jail term, a five-month stadium ban and a €10,000 fine.

Brandao refused to comment after his two-hour hearing, leaving his lawyer Olivier Martin to speak for him.

“Today we explained the reasons why he committed this act, the provocations he faced from the player and even the crowd, the psychological conditions involved when he came off the pitch,” said Martin who said his client had faced insults of a “racist nature”.

“We explained and showed to the commission that there was no premeditation in this gesture, that it was a reflex response to the stress and frustration he faced.”

Martin suggested that in the absence of a sick-note from Motta, current rules technically restrict any ban in such cases to eight matches.

PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi called for a life ban on the night of the incident, and there is speculation in the French press that Brandao’s employers may terminate his contract.

- © AFP, 2014

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