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PSG loses sporting director Leonardo

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Paris, Jul 10 (EFE).- Former Brazilian international Leonardo plans to leave his post as sporting director of Paris Saint-Germain, French television network beIn Sport said Wednesday.

The news comes just days after PSG management gave Leonardo a vote of confidence in the wake of the French soccer federation's decision to extend - from nine to 13 months - a ban imposed on the sporting director for shoving a referee.

Under the disciplinary measure, Leonardo, 43, was barred from the bench and from all public events with the club.

"We regret his choice but respect his decision," PSG said on its official Web site in an initial public reaction to Leonardo's departure, set for September.

"We thank him greatly for his important contributions towards the project of building a top European Club in Paris and wish him all the best for his future career choice," the statement said.

Qatar Sports Investments hired Leonardo shortly after acquiring PSG in 2011.

The new owners allowed Leonardo to spend more than 200 million euros ($255.72 million) on top-flight players such as Argentine midfielder Javier Pastore, Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazilian defender Thiago Silva.

The investment paid off last season, as PSG won their first French league title in almost two decades and made it to the quarterfinals of the Champions League before losing to FC Barcelona.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130710/psg-loses-sporting-director-leonardo