Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho will receive no further suspension from UEFA and could even be included in France’s squad for the European Championships, according to reports in France on Saturday.
Sakho was suspended for an initial 30 days last month and was expected to receive a further ban once his hearing with UEFA had been held.
That hearing took place last week, with the outcome expected to be revealed next week.
Reports in France, from L’Equipe, this Saturday claim the 26-year-old will receive no further ban and is therefore available immediately.
UPDATE: Media in England now reporting the same news. The Liverpool Echo claim: “Sakho’s defence questioned whether the substance he had taken should even be on the prohibited list – leading to UEFA ordering their own disciplinary body to first investigate whether the substance should even be on the WADA list.”
Sakho was suspended after testing for a banned substance after the Europa League match at Old Trafford, the substance reportedly being a fat burner. These reports suggest the fat burner wasn’t on UEFA’s banned list.
Liverpool moved to initially suspend Sakho pending UEFA’s findings and the player declined to have his B sample tested.
Reports had suggested a ban of anything between six months to two years.
Now, if these reports in France are true, it would be a huge boost for the player, his country and his club.
France coach Didier Deschamps has until May 31st to name his final squad for Euro 2016, and Sakho has previously been a mainstay in the side. With fellow centre-back Raphael Varane this week ruled out through injury, Sakho’s availability would be a welcome boost.
According to French newspaper Le Parisien Sakho has been training on his own twice a day and is ready to play at the European Championships.
Meanwhile, Sakho being available for Liverpool immediately next season would affect Jurgen Klopp‘s summer transfer plans too, with less need for another centre-back signing.
UPDATE: UEFA statement:
The 30-day provisional suspension ends today. The chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body decided not to extend it. The player would thus be free to play as from tomorrow. A decision on the case will be made within the next few days.
An update on this story has been published here.