Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille boycott Canal+ after Ibrahimovic, Payet bans
Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille have both carried out their threat to boycott Canal Plus after the TV channel showed images that led to the clubs' players being banned.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic received a four-game ban after his expletive-ridden outburst at match officials following PSG's defeat in Bordeaux on March 15 was filmed and broadcast by a Canal Plus-owned channel.
Marseille's Dimitri Payet was given a two-match suspension for a similar incident on the same day, which was filmed by Canal Plus cameras in the players' tunnel at the Stade Veldrome after OM's goalless draw with Lyon.
The clubs put out a joint press release on Friday stating they would no longer respond to questions from journalists from the Canal Plus group, and they proved as good as their word over the weekend.
Following PSG's Coupe de la Ligue final win on Saturday, coach Laurent Blanc was told by the club's press staff not to respond to a question from a Canal Plus journalist during his postgame news conference.
The quartet of PSG players who stopped in the mixed zone at the Stade de France -- Blaise Matuidi, Lucas, Nicolas Douchez and Serge Aurier -- would only answer questions after making sure that no Canal Plus group media were present.
The TV channel, which last year claimed the most-prized broadcast rights for Ligue 1 for the 2016-2020 period as part of a record €748.5 million deal, suffered a similar fate during its live broadcast of Sunday evening's game between Bordeaux and Marseille.
Generally given liberal access to technical staff and players, Canal Plus had to content themselves with an interview of Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol, who saw his side claim a 1-0 win that badly damaged Marseille's title hopes and their ambitions of qualifying for next season's Champions League by finishing in the top three in Ligue 1.
The clubs stated their joint action was due to the "great pressure engendered by the stakes at the end of the season" that their players and technical staff were subject to, adding they did not "want to take the risk of exposing ourselves to new sanctions linked to unfortunate comments provoked by a debatable refereeing decision."
Canal Plus responded with a press release of their own, complaining -- via the channel's deputy director general, Maxime Saada -- that "official images, filmed around matches [dressing rooms, mixed zones], place us de facto in the situation of hostages due to differences between the clubs and French football's disciplinary authorities, and which prevent our journalists from doing their work."
French Football League president Frederic Thiriez, who presented PSG captain Thiago Silva with the Coupe de la Ligue on Saturday, defended the clubs' actions.
"I understand the two clubs. This manner of using what happens in the players' tunnel simply to create a scandal creates a problem of fairness in football. That's what Paris and Marseille highlight," Thiriez told media.
"Depending on whether there are Canal Plus cameras, a player will appear before the disciplinary commission or not. That creates a problem of fairness.
"The presence of a camera, which is not always visible, could eventually lead to a suspension. That could have an effect on the end of the championship."