The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has stood up for Paris Saint-Germain and strongly criticised the “insulting words” of La Liga president Javier Tebas towards the Ligue 1 club and Neymar.
A vocal critic of PSG and their world-record €222 million purchase from Barcelona ever since the transfer was first mooted, Tebas’ latest outburst saw him claim the pair were “peeing in the bed or the swimming pool,” and making a mockery of financial fair play.
“The LFP strongly condemns the insulting words said today by the Liga president Javier Tebas regarding Paris Saint-Germain,” an LFP statement read. “These words are not worthy of an institution as respectable and effective as the Spanish league.
“The LFP points out that only UEFA is able to gauge the respect of financial fair play rules by PSG. After a meeting today, the LFP Executive reaffirms its support for Paris Saint-Germain in the face of a negative campaign led by certain big European clubs over several weeks now.”
UEFA confirmed earlier this week it has launched a formal investigation into PSG’s transfer dealings to determine whether or not the club has breached FFP rules with their purchase of Neymar and the arrival of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco on a season-long loan with an option to buy next summer.
Manchester City have also taken offence to Tebas’ recent comments and are considering legal action against La Liga after he accused the club of “financial doping” and “cooking the books” by manipulating the price of players loaned to sister club Girona.
PSG, meanwhile, could also face a battle with one of their own players, with Hatem Ben Arfa reportedly ready to haul the club in front of the LFP after he was banished to train with the reserves.
After a summer in which it was made clear to the midfielder he was surplus to requirements at the Parc des Princes, Ben Arfa surprisingly did not leave the club, preferring to see out the remaining 12 months of his contract.
PSG responded by asking him to train with their reserve side, which features in France’s amateur fourth tier.
Ben Arfa’s lawyer, Jean-Jacques Bertrand, claims the club have violated the LFP’s Professional Football Charter that states such a measure can only be temporary and for reasons of squad management. He has previously said that he has no idea why his client is being made to feel so unwanted.
“I have informed the club by email and registered a letter that we don’t accept this situation,” he is reported as saying by L’Equipe. “If there is still no response, we’ll take the matter to the LFP’s Disciplinary Commission before the end of the week, most likely Friday.”
PSG coach Unai Emery told media on Wednesday that Ben Arfa had been warned that this would happen “if he didn’t change club,” and suggested that the France international had “good conditions” in which to train.
Emery also noted that a number of reserve-team players had joined first-team training when necessary, and that was again the case during the international break with numerous first-teamers playing for their countries. Ben Arfa, however, was not among them.
“Half of the squad left for international duty and they called up reserve players to fill up the group, which is funny,” Bertrand said. “It is clear that there isn’t a problem of having too many players.”
Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman