PARIS – Paris Saint-Germain's sporting director has been suspended for nine months by the French soccer league for shoving a referee outside the tunnel following a match this month.
Leonardo had already been provisionally suspended by the league for appearing to deliberately shoulder-bump Alexandre Castro after the 1-1 home draw against Valenciennes on May 5.
The league's disciplinary committee met again Thursday before the committee's president, Pascal Garibian, delivered the verdict.
Leonardo contends that another game official behind him accidentally pushed him into Castro, although television footage appeared to show the Brazilian shoving Castro on his own.
Leonardo has been heavily critical of French referees this season, launching one rant live on television after a 1-1 draw at Montpellier in November.