sport

Nantes docked three points

Nantes have been docked three points in Ligue 1 after a definitive verdict was finally reached over their use of a suspended player.

Banned midfielder Abdoulaye Toure appeared as a substitute in promoted Nantes' 2-0 win over Bastia, who have now been awarded the three points instead.

The Corsican club appealed against the match result on the grounds that Toure should have been suspended after collecting three bookings in a three-month period for Nantes' under-19 team.

An initial hearing on August 28 reached no conclusion but Toure's own appeal against his suspension was rejected by the French Football Federation on September 5.

The FFF's High Appeal Commission then dismissed appeals by both Nantes and Toure against the original suspension and they also failed with representations to the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) last week.

Having exhausted all other options, Les Canaris were at the mercy of the French league's competitions commission, which issued its verdict in a statement on Wednesday.

It read: "Convened on February 12, 2014, the competitions commission of the LFP has ruled 'match lost by penalty' for FC Nantes (zero points, zero goals scored) and awarded the benefit to SC Bastia (three points, zero goals scored) following the opposing claims of the two clubs stemming from the match FC Nantes-SC Bastia (week one).

"In turn, the French Football Federation's High Appeal Commission (decision of October 31, 2013), then the CNOSF (decision of February 5, 2014) confirmed the sanction of a one-match suspension for the player Abdoulaye Toure.

"In consequence, the player Abdoulaye Toure was not able to play in the match against SC Bastia.

"In consequence, and in application of article 510 (of the LFP competition rules, applicable to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2), the match lost by penalty leads to the withdrawal of three points from FC Nantes and the annulation of the two goals scored.

"SC Bastia are declared the winners of the game without scoring a goal as article 510 specifies that the winning team retains the number of goals they scored in the game (in this case zero, as the match finished 2-0 to FC Nantes).

"In consequence, FC Nantes now have 30 points and SC Bastia 36 points."

The outcome lifts Bastia to eighth in Ligue 1, level on points with seventh-placed Reims. Nantes drop below Bastia and Lorient to 11th, level on points with both Toulouse and Nice immediately below them.