Soccer-Ligue 1 hits back at LaLiga's 'disrespectful smears' after Mbappe stays


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v Metz - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - May 21, 2022 Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe after signing a new contract REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

(Reuters) - Ligue 1 president Vincent Labrune has hit back at his LaLiga counterpart Javier Tebas who attacked Paris St Germain following Kylian Mbappe's contract extension, saying his denigration of the French league and its players was 'unacceptable'.

Mbappe, who had been linked with a move to Real Madrid, rejected an offer to join the Spanish champions on a free transfer and extended his contract at PSG to 2025.

LaLiga had reacted angrily to the contract extension, saying it would file a complaint against PSG to European soccer's governing body UEFA because the deal "attacks the economic stability" of European football.

"We are all the more shocked that you are making these attacks given your capacity as President of the European Leagues (which is supposed to represent all leagues of Europe including Ligue 1) and a UEFA Executive Committee member (whose role is to promote the collective interests of European football)," Labrune wrote.

"It is difficult to follow the factual substance of your letter and what relevance the renewal of a player's contract with a club in another league has to LaLiga.

"Your attacks on Ligue 1 and one of our clubs Paris St Germain and one of our players Kylian Mbappe are based around your own interpretation of financial unsustainability and competitive imbalance, which you repeatedly attribute to Ligue 1 and one of our clubs.

"The fact that you publicly and repeatedly take this position against Ligue 1 on this topic and denigrate our League and our clubs is both unacceptable and manifestly false."

Tebas also wrote on Twitter https://twitter.com/Tebasjavier/status/1528032767388286977 that Mbappe's contract extension was an "insult to football", claiming PSG had suffered heavy financial losses in recent seasons.

Labrune retorted by saying Real Madrid has "two of the highest paid players in world football sat on their bench" while Barcelona were reported to have a "debt level of 1.5 billion euros".

Barcelona president ​Joan Laporta said last August that the club's debts totalled 1.35 billion euros ($1.45 billion).

Labrune added that Tebas' previous attacks on players such as Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos who left Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, and moved to PSG was also unwarranted.

"Now your disrespectful smears seem to be directed towards Kylian Mbappe who is widely acknowledged to be one of the world's greatest players and who simply didn't join your league, by choice, despite having received a similar offer," he said.

($1 = 0.9333 euros)

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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