PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Antero Henrique has written to Pascal Garibian, Ligue 1’s technical director of refereeing, after last Sunday’s costly 3-0 win over Marseille, which referee Benoit Bastien appeared to fail to keep under control at times.
Comments allegedly made by Marseille’s Dimitri Payet to Bastien about Neymar minutes before he went down injured have particularly angered PSG and they feature heavily in Henrique’s letter to Garibian.
“Tell Neymar to calm down,” Payet is reported to have told Bastien. “Otherwise, we will take care of him.”
Neymar was injured during the physical encounter, and will now undergo surgery in his home country after spraining his ankle and cracking a metatarsal bone in his foot.
Lucas Ocampos’ dangerous tackle on Dani Alves went unpunished and Henrique also draws attention to that in his letter.
PSG midfielder Marco Verratti said that losing Neymar to injury has been hard and that he will be a big loss, especially against Real Madrid in the Champions League next week.
“It is a tough blow for Ney,” Verratti said in the mixed zone after Wednesday’s 3-0 Coupe de France quarterfinal win over Marseille. “He loves football and loves this sort of match.
“We have lost our best player, that is the truth. However, we now have no choice. We must take to the pitch without him, but also go out there and play for him.
“This injury is very sad and disappointing. The only thing that we can do in the way of a present is to play well without him.”
PSG are away at Troyes in Ligue 1 on Saturday before a visit from Real in the Champions League next week with a 3-1 deficit to overturn.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.