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The French league's disciplinary commission has banned Paris Saint Germain from defending its League Cup title next year after fans of the club displayed a banner insulting people from northern France...

The banner was shown briefly during the League Cup final on March 29, in which PSG beat Lens 2-1 to win the trophy. The banner - which overshadowed what should have been a great day for the club - referred to northern Frenchmen as "paedophiles, unemployed and inbred."

Though PSG pledged to identify those responsible, the French government has since ordered the disbanding of the club's far-right Boulogne Boys supporters' group.

The president of the disciplinary commission Jacques Riolacci has said the club would not be deducted points, as a racist connotation had not been established.

"The disciplinary commission didn't find that the banner, despite shocking a lot of people, was strictly racist," explained Riolacci.

A points deduction would have spelled disaster for the capital club who, despite the League Cup win, are flirting with relegation after a woeful league campaign.

The club have vowed to appeal the ban, and released a statement, which read: "PSG will do everything in its power to contest and try and annul this decision.

A criminal investigation has been opened to prosecute those responsible for "inciting hatred and violence" against northerners.

Robert Rousseau, Goal.com

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