The president of a French village side has been handed a three-month suspension for attempting to lodge a formal bid to sign Lionel Messi. Cédric Enjolras, of Haute-Loire second division team FC Borne, decided to table a cheeky bid for the Ballon D’Or winner as a joke.
But the last laugh was on him. The bid was intercepted by an official in the player registration office of the French Football Federation. The killjoy refused to pass the bid to the Spanish FA – meaning Barcelona were never aware of the opportunity to cash-in on their prize asset – and Enjolras was hauled in for his punishment.
Yves Begon, the head of the FFF registration office, said: “One cannot accept such behaviour. It is perhaps a joke but we are here to judge the facts.”
Enjolras explained how his rather lofty dabbling in the transfer market came about.
He said: “To submit bids among small clubs, you need to fill out forms on the internet. I decided to register a bid so I typed the name Lionel Messi, his date of birth and his parent club into the system. Then the league transmitted the request to the federation. They were shocked by it and refused to send it to their Spanish counterparts. I have been suspended for six months, of which three are suspended. It was just a joke, to amuse friends.
“I’m going to have spend three months in the bar.”