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Italian will do everything in his power to stay on at QPR…

By Mohammed Bhana

If former Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore loses his challenge against the FIA over the lifetime ban he received for ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, he could be forced to leave his position as a director of Queens Park Rangers, under the Football League's 'fit and proper person' test.

The test states that if a person is "banned from the administration of a sport by a sport's governing body", then they cannot act as director of a Football League club.

However, a source close to Briatore, who is seeking almost £1 million in compensation from the FIA, insists the flamboyant Italian will take legal action should the Football League decide to remove him.

The source told Goal.com UK: "This is a sham. There is a lack of impartiality here. Our people have hardly had any access to prosecution documents and the failure of the FIA to state the charges against him in advance just shows that people are out to make an example out of him and there is a political agenda here.

"However, we are confident that the French courts will rule in a fair manner. If we have to, we will appeal and if the Football League wants to also try something, to show him up, he will use the might of the law to fight them. Mr Briatore is happy at Queens Park Rangers and is looking forward to long-term success."

Reports that suggest Briatore's co-owners, Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal, will quit should the axe fall on the Italian, are wide of the mark.

The source added that the two men are devoted to the London club and have no plans to leave: "To suggest Mr Ecclestone and Mr Lakshmi Mittal will leave is absolute nonsense. They are committed to QPR, and have long-term global plans in place."

When contacted by Goal.com UK, a Football League spokesman said: "Football League Chairman, Lord Mawhinney, has written to the FIA to request further details.

"Thereafter, the League will consider its position on the matter."

Briatore himself, who was in court when the trial began on Tuesday, believes his case against the FIA will reach a positive conclusion.

He said: "This decision is a legal absurdity and I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially."

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