PSG on the back foot as racism controversy hits Ligue 1

The 2020/21 season of the French League has started with favorites for the title starting off on the back foot.

Incidents from their second game of the season have already birthed controversies that may last for a while but as expected, it won’t be a surprise if Thomas Tuchel and his men end up hoisting the Ligue 1 title at the end of the season regardless of how badly they’ve started.

Paris Saint-Germain have already been suffering from some lack of luck before the season began. Firstly, the lost 1 nil to Bayern Munich in the final of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League. It was their first final in a competition whose title has eluded them in spite of the stars on parade.

Shortly after, there was the news of a significant portion of the first team being sidelined after being exposed to COVID-19. Thomas Tuchel had no choice but to feature a depleted team in their first game of the 2020/21 season away to Lens which they lost 1 nil.

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This was not that much of a surprise. However, they had the likes of star men Neymar and Angel Di Maria in action against Marseille in their first home league game of the season which they eventually lost 1 nil via a Florian Thauvin goal.

It was a game that would have resulted in fisticuffs if not properly controlled with a barrage of cards being dished by the referee.

It was a game that saw a combined total of 17 cards being brandished with yellow and red cards inclusive. The strange fact is that five of the red cards were brandished during added time.

Jordan Amavi received a straight red for Marseille while Layvin Kurzawa got a straight red card for PSG. The other reds came after an accumulation of yellow cards by the affected players.

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The game was one that ended in bad blood and the damaging fact is that an issue of racism popped up and is currently being investigated.

The altercation involved PSG forward Neymar and Marseille player Alvaro Gonzalez after the Brazilian was dismissed for hitting the Spaniard at the back of his head.

In the process of leaving the pitch, Neymar alleged that he was the victim of racial abuse to the fourth official but didn’t mention the player involved at the time.

However, he took to Twitter in a series of tweets and expressed regret for not hitting the player who he referred to as an idiot on the face. 

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He alleged that Gonzalez called him a ‘MONKEY SON OF A B*TCH but Gonzalez also took to Twitter to deny any wrongdoing. However, Neymar replied Gonzalez’s tweet, asking him to own up to the offense and called him a racist.

Coaches of the side Andre Villas-Boas of Marseille and Thomas Tuchel of PSG spoke shortly after the game and stated that there is no place for racism in the game.

The Ligue 1 champions are currently in the bottom three of the table with no points gained or goals scored after two games. Meanwhile, Rennes, Monaco, and Lille are tied at 7 points each at the top of the table.

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These are early days and it is expected that PSG will regroup. However, attention will be on how the supposed racism debacle turns out as punishments will be handed out of it’s found to be true or false. We wait to see how this pans out.