La Liga president accused of ‘disrespectfully smearing’ Kylian Mbappe as row erupts over record deal

The La Liga president has been accused of ‘disrespectfully smearing’ Kylian Mbappe after the French striker signed a new contract with Paris St Germain over the weekend.

Spanish league chief Javier Tebas said it was “scandalous” and “an insult to football” that Mbappe had extended his contract with PSG.

He said La Liga had lodged a complaint with UEFA over the deal and claimed it threatened the economic viability of European football, pointing to PSG’s losses while indicating that Real Madrid, who were also interested in signing Mbappe, ‘could accept the player’s arrival without seeing their wage bill compromised’.

The president of the French Professional Football League (LFP), Vincent Labrune, wrote a scathing letter to Tebas on Wednesday, which was seen by the PA news agency.

“We want to express in the strongest terms our disapproval, but also our incomprehension, of your latest attacks on Ligue 1 and one of our clubs,” the letter begins.

“We are all the more shocked that you are carrying out these attacks given your position as President of the European Leagues, which is supposed to represent all the leagues in Europe including Ligue 1, and as a member of the UEFA Executive Committee (including the role is to promote the collective interests of European football).

Tebas, who is not the president of European Leagues but is a member of its board, had previously made disparaging remarks about Ligue 1 being a ‘league of legends’ after Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos swapped Spain for Paris, and Labrune added: “Now your disrespectful smears seem to be directed at Kylian Mbappe, who is widely recognized as one of the greatest players in the world and who just hasn’t joined your league, by choice, despite receiving a similar offer.

On Tebas’ point on financial viability, Labrune hit back at the two Spanish greats, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“Real Madrid currently have two of the highest paid players in world football on their bench,” he said.

“Barcelona reportedly have a debt level of €1.5 billion, despite the finding of the European Court of Justice that Real Madrid and Barcelona benefited from illegal state aid.”

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