January 6, 2017
Rivère: “Common sense has prevailed”
The verdict has just officially landed. Following the Disciplinary Tribunal that took place on Thursday evening at the headquarters of the LFP, Mario Balotelli and Younes Belhanda have discovered their punishments. Sent-off in Bordeaux during the last match of 2016, the Italian and Moroccan internationals have received a two match and a one match ban respectively.
Both travelled with President Rivère to the Capital to defend their cause, the striker and midfielder presented their arguments to the commission, one after the other. These arguments will have proved convincing to the tribunal, listening to the explanations of the Niçois.
Mario Balotelli will therefore miss the games against Lorient (in the Coupe de France) and then Metz (15 January), but be back for the match against Bastia (20 January). Younes Belhanda, currently injured, will be suspended against the Merlus this Sunday.
Upon leaving the hearing and faced with a number of journalists, the President Rivère commented on the league’s decision: “These are punishments that I find logical. It was difficult to give less. And if it had been more severe, it wouldn’t have been satisfying either. The Disciplinary Tribunal took the time to look at the images and to listen to us. We clearly explained the situation. Common sense has prevailed.”
Examined for his “behaviour after the final whistle towards the officials” according to the charges, Lucien Favre (unwell and therefore cross-examined by telephone) received a suspended two match suspension.