Paris-Saint Germain and Marseille boycott Canal Plus
Ligue 1 clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille have opted to boycott pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus for the remainder of the 2014/15 season.
PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marseille forward Dimitri Payet were suspended for four and two games respectively by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) on Thursday for using abusive language against referees.
The LFP disciplinary committee used footage from Canal Plus, which holds the domestic broadcasting rights to Ligue 1 alongside the beIN Media Group, in the cases against Ibrahimovic and Payet, prompting PSG and Marseille to make their stand.
A joint statement from the clubs read: "In order to avoid any other misunderstanding and to preserve the interest and the regularity of the championship with seven matches left, officials from Olympique de Marseille/Paris St Germain have decided not to make any public statements to the journalists and in front of the cameras of the Canal Plus group until May 30.
"This measure applies, irrespective of location or setting (interviews, press conferences etc.), to the players and coaching staff who are exposed to immense pressure given what it at stake in the final rounds of the season.
"The number of cameras and microphones of the Canal Plus group channels, which surround the team(s) in all circumstances... lead us to adopt this cautious approach."
In an adapted statement on their own website, PSG added that the club was keen to avoid further sanctions from the LFP.
The statement read: "Heavily sanctioned, Paris Saint-Germain, which is one of the most publicised French clubs and one that draws the biggest television audiences, wishes to avoid taking any further risks of facing sanctions due to misplaced comments provoked by ambiguous refereeing decisions.”
Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain are top of the Ligue 1 table - one point ahead of second-placed Lyon and five clear of Marseille in third.