Reports: Mamadou Sakho to plead innocence at UEFA hearing
French footballer Mamadou Sakho would want to prove his innocence and reveal to everyone that he is not guilty of drug abuse during his final UEFA hearing to be held on Thursday based on reports from The Telegraph. Sakho was previously banned by UEFA on 28 April for 30 days for using a fat-burning substance, as per a test after Liverpool’s Europa League round-of-16-match against Manchester United at Old Trafford. As per UEFA, his ban ended at the end of May and was free to make a start, and the decision on the matter would be announced a few days later. Yet, he was not included in the French National team for Euro 2016. He was fortunate that the ban was not extended beyond the stipulated time.
The French defender’s legal team will also present the case stating that Sakho did not take any substance which was illegal and there should be no action against the Liverpool star. UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary board is scheduled to meet in Paris to decide the fate of Sakho.
World-Cup winner and French coach Didier Deschamps had earlier ruled Sakho out of the initial list for the European Championships. As per the reports of The Telegraph (UK), when asked whether he would include Sakho later in the tournament, he said,”Seriously? No. Or I have no respect for the players I selected.
“When I decided (on the squad), there was no evidence that the end (for Sakho) would be positive, even it needed confirmation.” He added.
With Sakho omitted, Raphael Varane and Jeremy Mathieu curing injuries, it is up to Adil Ramy and Laurent Koscielny to pull up their socks and deliver for the hosts in Euro 2016. The 26-year old Frenchman has been an integral part of Liverpool’s defence for the past two seasons but has started the pre-season camp with The Reds and will be eager to perform well in the Premier League.
It was Sakho’s request to UEFA to pre-pone the hearing date to July so that he is available for the pre-season fixtures for Liverpool. He played 151 matches for Paris Saint-Germain, before heading towards Anfield in 2013. He was signed by the Reds for £18 million back in September 2013. Former Liverpool coach Brendon Rodgers had described him as “a beast in training” before he made his debut for Liverpool. Sakho represented his national side on 28 occasions and has 2 goals to his name.