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French football chief slams LaLiga chief over Mbappe remarks

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By Martin Graham | 27th May 2022

Vincent Labrune, the chairman of the governing body for club football in France, the French Professional League (LFP), has hit back at his Spanish counterpart Javier Tebas for his outburst at the Kylian Mbappe saga.

The 23-year-old threw the football world into an uproar after he chose to remain at Paris Saint-Germain despite a whirlwind romance with Real Madrid over the past two years.

The deal involved a lot of money which Madrid were willing to offer the 2018 Kopa Trophy winner as well, but his choice to remain at Parc De Princes has not gone down well with many figures in the football world.

LaLiga have lost both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and are without a star name. After hinging their marketing hopes on Mbappe’s arrival, the young winger chose to remain in France to the chagrin of the Tebas-led body.

They released a long statement in which they threatened to take up the issue with UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, alleging that PSG had breached financial fair play rules in their dealings with Mbappe.

But Labrune has hit back at his counterpart in a letter published in the media after it was sent directly to Tebas. In the letter, Labrune called Tebas remarks “unacceptable” and “completely inappropriate”.

Labrune’s letter to Tebas

The letter reads: “We would like to express in the strongest terms our disapproval, but also our incomprehension, of your latest attacks against Ligue 1 and one of our clubs.

“We are all the more shocked by these attacks as you are president of the European Leagues (supposed to represent all leagues in Europe, including Ligue 1) and a member of the UEFA Executive Committee (whose role is to promote the collective interests of European football).

“Your attacks on Ligue 1 and one of our clubs, Paris Saint-Germain, and one of our players, Kylian Mbappe, are based on your own interpretation of financial unsustainability and competitive imbalance, which you repeatedly attribute to Ligue 1 and one of our clubs.

“Today your disrespectful remarks seem to be directed at Kylian Mbappe, who is widely recognised as one of the best players in the world and who simply did not join your league, by choice, despite a similar offer.

“Unlike you, Ligue 1 salutes and promotes players in our league and across Europe – including those in your league. Someone in your various functions would be well advised to do the same.”

Ceferin calls Tebas’ complaints hypocritical

Labrune’s letter comes after UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin called the claims by Tebas hypocritical.

The UEFA chief said in a recent interview with BBC Sport: “UEFA has financial fair play rules which are quite strict. Whoever will respect our rules is welcome to play in our competitions; who will not respect the rules will not.

“Look not Real Madrid or anyone else will tell UEFA what to do. They are outraged from one point of view and, as much as I know, their offer was similar to [PSG’s] offer.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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