Leonardo relieved after suspension lifted

The ex-Brazil international is now free to return to football after Paris' Administrative Court quashed his ban because he was not linked to the FFF by a coaching license.

Leonardo's lawyer has said that the former Paris Saint-Germain sporting director is “happy and relieved” after his suspension for pushing referee Alexandre Castro was put on hold.

The incident took place after a 1-1 Ligue 1 draw between Les Parisiens and Valenciennes on May 5 and led to the Brazilian being suspended from his position until February 2014. Then, after an unsuccessful appeal against the original ban, the French Football Federation (FFF) lengthened the suspension to June 30, 2014, which led to the former AC Milan attacker taking his case to court.

The conditions of his ban, which included not being able to stand on the touchline during games or enter the referee’s dressing room after matches, led to Leonardo leaving PSG in July. Leonardo subsequently took his case to Paris’ Administrative Court, where he was told on Tuesday that his ban had been temporarily lifted, as he was not linked to the FFF by a coaching license.

Talking after the verdict, Paul Mauriac (Leonardo’s lawyer) said: "Leonardo is happy and relieved. His persistence was awarded. It was a key step.”

Following the outcome, Leonardo is now free to "commit to a club,” meaning he could return to football in the near future.

Leonardo, who joined PSG as their sporting director in 2011, was instrumental in signing key players such as Jeremy Menez and Thiago Motta, as well as being behind the appointment of title-winning coach Carlo Ancelotti.