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Bad news Mbappe & Neymar, Djiku's back for PSG after betting ban is over-turned

03:57 GMT+3 27/12/2022
Alexander Djiku - Strasbourg
Ghana defender Alexander Djiku has seen his one-match betting ban reduced to a suspended sentence, allowing him to return to action immediately.
  • Djiku gets reprieve after betting ban turns to suspended sentence
  • Ghana defender’s punishment reduced after appeal by his club
  • The 28-year-old now free to face Mbappe, Neymar & co. on Wednesday

WHAT HAPPENED? The Strasbourg defender was among 76 players, coaches and team officials who were cited following an investigation by the Professional Football League (LFP) for their involvement in betting during the 2020-21 season and was subsequently handed a one-match ban.

However, according to L'Equipe, Djiku is now free to play after an appeal by his club saw the ban reduced to a suspended sentence, and will be available for his team’s trip to Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain when the French league resumes on Wednesday.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Djiku received a reprieve given he placed a bet of a small amount (20 euros) on a La Liga match on July 20, 2020 and it fell within the framework of a partnership with a sports betting site.

The 28-year-old France-born defender had made 14 appearances for Strasbourg in all competitions before the World Cup break and will be tasked with keeping Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the French league’s top scorers, at bay if he starts on Wednesday.

Djiku, who has 20 caps and one goal for Ghana, was part of the Black Stars squad at the 2022 World Cup where he featured in two games, playing 90 minutes in the group opener against Portugal, before getting seven minutes off the bench against South Korea.

Players and football officials are prohibited from betting on any matches and the punishment, is a stain on the defender’s resume.

WHAT’S NEXT? Djiku will be hoping to be in the starting XI for Strasbourg when they play at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.