PSG bosses confront referee after UCL defeat


Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and the club’s sporting director Leonardo launched an angry tirade in the referee’s dressing room after PSG’s defeat by Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

PSG blew a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 on aggregate at the Santiago Bernabeu, as Karim Benzema’s sensational second-half hat-trick knocked the Qatari-owned club out of the competition.

After the final whistle, Al-Khelaifi and Leonardo marched downstairs from their box, with Leonardo pounding on the door of the referee’s dressing room, according to sources.

Their grievance is thought to stem from Benzema’s first goal when PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was denied a free-kick after being pushed by the Real Madrid striker.

In his post-match press conference, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino stated it was a “clear foul” that left the players feeling “a big sense of unfairness.”

Al-Khelaifi even stormed into the wrong room, according to Madrid newspaper Marca, and was left confronting Real Madrid’s match delegate, Megia Davila. “He had to be removed with difficulty,” Marca continued, “and numerous people had to intercede.”

Tensions between Real Madrid and PSG have been rising as Madrid prepares to sign Kylian Mbappe, PSG’s star forward, this summer. Mbappe has been adamant about not extending his contract in Paris.

The clubs have also clashed over Real Madrid president Florentino Perez’s European Super League initiative, which PSG declined to join last year.



Vincent Paul

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