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Paris St. Germain appeals UEFA punishment

(c) 1997 Copyright Nando.net
(c) 1997 Agence France-Presse

PARIS (Aug 19, 1997 - 10:05 EDT) - Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday announced they would appeal UEFA's decision to award Steaua Bucharest a 3-0 European Champions League victory as a punishment for fielding a suspended player.

PSG president Michel Denisot confirmed the appeal after defender Laurent Fournier played in their 3-2 defeat in Bucharest in the second qualifying round, first leg match last Wednesday.

Denisot also announced they would be taking action against the person to blame for the mix-up, though he did not reveal the identity.

PSG director general Jean-Francois Domergue and official Patricia Moyersoen will be present at the headquarters of European governing body UEFA in Geneva on Friday when the appeal is heard.

At a press conference at PSG's training ground just to the west of Paris, Denisot revealed he had been warned of the punishment on Friday and informed coach Ricardo on Saturday evening.

But Denisot put on a brave face in adversity. "PSG have gone through bad times and we will continue to show solidarity. The future of the club is not in danger even if we are knocked out of the Champions League.

"If we get through three rounds of the UEFA Cup we will balance our books."

Denisot was referring to the approximate 12-million-dollar revenue they would lose because of elimination from the Champions League.

However he admitted the image of the club had been tarnished by what he described as a "monumental mistake."

Fournier was sent off for two bookable offences during PSG's 6-1 home defeat by Juventus in a European Super Cup first leg match on Jan 15.

He then picked up another yellow card -- thereby incurring an automatic one-match suspension -- in the first minute of the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in Rotterdam on May 14.

PSG now have a difficult task in the Parc des Princes second leg on Wednesday, August 27.

"We will just have to pull together and do our best," said Ricardo. "We can still qualify. At the start of the season Michel Denisot had made qualifying for the Champions League his main aim, and in view of all the money we've spent it's imperative we make it."