Messi suspension 'not my decision to take', says PSG coach Galtier
During his conversation with reporters on Friday, Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier attempted to shift the focus away from Lionel Messi's suspension by stating that he was not the one who made the decision to suspend the player.
"I was informed at the beginning of the week by management about the decision to suspend Leo. Once they had let me know, I took the responsibility to not comment as a paid member of staff of the club," Galtier said during a press conference at PSG's training ground Paris.
"It wasn't my decision to take. I was informed of the decision and I defer to it."
The Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain suspended Lionel Messi when he failed to appear for training on Monday and instead traveled to Saudi Arabia without the club's authorization. This trip was reportedly part of his contractual obligations with the tourist office of that country.
Several French media outlets have reported that Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina's World Cup-winning team, will be suspended from both playing and training for a period of two weeks. However, at this time, AFP (Agence France-Presse) has not been able to independently verify these reports.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Lionel Messi's suspension, it is clear that he will not participate in PSG's match against relegation-threatened Troyes on Sunday.
With only four more matches remaining this season, time is running out for the Argentine superstar to make a significant impact on the pitch for PSG. Furthermore, Messi's contract with the club is set to expire in June, adding to the intrigue surrounding his future at the Parisian club.
"We will see when Leo comes back. We will see what happens. Obviously there will be discussions with the club as a whole but also with Leo because this concerns him first and foremost," Galtier added when asked if Messi would play for the team again.
- 'Shameful' -
Antoine Kombouare, who previously played for PSG and was the club's first coach of the Qatar era, has criticized the decision to suspend Lionel Messi and prevent him from playing.
Kombouare, who is currently the coach of Nantes, is one of Galtier's counterparts in France.
"It's shameful. I don't care what is happening on the pitch or about PSG's problems. I am in love with the player. Messi shouldn't be touched," he said.
This week, some PSG fans expressed their frustration with the club's management under Qatari ownership by protesting in front of the club's offices. Additionally, some fans reportedly gathered outside Neymar's home in the Parisian suburb of Bougival to voice their discontent.
These protests suggest that there is growing dissatisfaction among some PSG supporters regarding the way the club has been run in recent seasons.
In response to the recent protests by some PSG fans, the club has reportedly increased security measures at their training ground and the residences of their star players Lionel Messi and Neymar.
These security measures are likely intended to ensure the safety and well-being of the players and to prevent any potential disruptions to the team's preparations for upcoming matches.
"I can understand the anger and the disappointment of our supporters. I can also understand why they might come and protest here at our workplace or in front of the club's offices," Galtier said.
"I can understand that they might protest after a match at the Parc des Princes, but I cannot accept that they might do so at anyone's house, whether it might be Neymar or someone else, because things could spill over and we see that a lot at the moment in the news."
PSG suffered a disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Lorient in their last game and are currently five points clear at the top of the table ahead of Marseille as they prepare for their upcoming match against Troyes. However, in addition to Lionel Messi's suspension, the team is facing several other selection issues.
Left-back Nuno Mendes has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to an injury, while right-back Achraf Hakimi is suspended, leaving the team with limited options in defense. These absences could make the match against Troyes more challenging for PSG.