Amateur club president reprimanded over Messi bid

The president of an amateur French club who has been suspended

for trying to sign Barcelona star Lionel Messi thinks the French

Football Federation failed to see the funny side of his audacious


FC Borne president Cedric Enjolras was suspended Monday for six

months by the FFF after his club’s request to sign Messi was

intercepted by the federation last month.

Speaking to The Associated Press by telephone, Enjolras – who is

also the club’s goalkeeper – said he was only intending a bit of

lighthearted humor when he decided to try and sign the prolific

Argentina forward.

”I don’t know the reason why I was suspended. I suppose my joke

wasn’t appreciated. It pleases a lot of people except the French

Football Federation,” Enjolras told the AP on Friday. ”The French

federation intercepted my request for a transfer, and they sent the

transfer commission for (my) hearing.”

Enjolras is banned from football activities until June 7, with

another three months as a suspended sentence.

The club posted the decision on its website, with several

reactions from fans, including ”suspended six months for having a

sense of humor.”

Enjolras said that his bid never reached Barcelona boss Pep

Guardiola because ”the federation intercepted my request and it

didn’t go to Spain.”

The 23-year-old Messi scored twice on Tuesday to lead Barcelona

past Arsenal 3-1 at the Nou Camp, and into the quarterfinals of the

Champions League. Messi’s brace extended his club-record tally in

European competition to 33 goals.

Enjolras said Barcelona had not contacted him. Asked if he would

like to get Messi to play for his club on loan another time, he

joked that it would be ”with great pleasure.”

FC Borne plays in the second division of a regional league in

the Auvergne region of southern France.

”How many fans do we get? Oh, about 10 … a bit less than the

Nou Camp,” Enjolras said.

Enjolras will now have to wait until next season before he can

play in goal again, as he will not be appealing the suspension.

”My season is over,” he said. ”I had four days to appeal, but

I can’t because we don’t have the means. It would cost too much, we

don’t have much money and it’s expensive to appeal. I didn’t want

to appeal so as not to hinder my club.”