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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:43 UK

League awaits Briatore F1 ruling

Flavio Briatore
Briatore calls his ban from FIA-sanctioned motorsport events a "legal absurdity"

Flavio Briatore will find out if he has a future in Formula 1 and as co-owner of QPR on 24 November when he challenges his lifetime motorsport ban.

The ex-Renault team boss is appealing against the punishment he received for his involvement in the race-fixing row.

The Football League say it will wait on the outcome of the hearing in Paris before deciding whether to take action.

If the ban remains, it may put the 59-year-old Italian in violation of the League's 'fit and proper person test'.

The test stipulates that an owner, prospective owner or director of a club should not be "subject to a ban from a sports governing body relating to the administration of their sport".

I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially

Flavio Briatore

Briatore was penalised in September for his role in Renault's attempt to fix last year's Singapore Grand Prix by asking driver Nelson Piquet Jr to crash deliberately.

The FIA has banned Briatore indefinitely from events it sanctions and forbade him from managing drivers.

The Italian responded by saying the "FIA has been used as a tool to exact vengeance on one man", and is bidding to seek damages from them and get his lifetime ban overturned.

In a statement, he described the penalty against him as a "legal absurdity", adding: "I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially."

A Football League statement issued on Tuesday read: "The Football League has noted the decision by Queens Park Rangers director Flavio Briatore to commence legal proceedings against the FIA in the French courts.

"Lord Mawhinney, chairman of the Football League, met with Mr Briatore on Friday, where they discussed the recent decision of the World Motor Sport Council. Mr Briatore informed Lord Mawhinney of his intention to take legal action against the FIA.

"The Football League will now await the court decision before taking any further action."

Piquet's crash led to a safety car period, which promoted his team-mate Fernando Alonso to a position from which the Spaniard was able to win the race despite starting 15th on the grid.

An internal investigation by Renault found Briatore and former engineering director Pat Symonds guilty of organising the fixing attempt.

The FIA gave Renault a ban from F1, suspended for two years, and instead decided to punish Briatore and Symonds, who has been banned from FIA-sanctioned events for five years.

Nelson Piquet Jr crashes in Singapore

Watch Piquet's Singapore crash

Briatore's statement accused the FIA of a "deliberate breach of the rights of the defence", a "breach of the rules of natural justice" and a "manifest excess and abuse of power".

It added that: "Flavio Briatore intends to obtain an order from the court quashing the FIA's decision insofar as it relates to him, together with an order, subject to a penalty for non-compliance, requiring the Federation to withdraw any penalty imposed on him.

"He is also seeking damages and official publication of the court's decision."

The FIA tried to impose a similar ban on the two men at the heart of the McLaren spy scandal in 2007, only for president Max Mosley to admit its lawyers had advised him the ban was probably not enforceable.

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see also
Briatore's QPR fate put on hold
08 Oct 09 |  QPR
I suffered in scandal - Piquet Jr
05 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
F1 returns to scene of the crime
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Briatore ban too harsh - F1 boss
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Reeling Renault to continue in F1
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Witness X sealed Briatore's fate
23 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Piquet Jr 'sorry' for race-fixing
21 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Renault handed suspended F1 ban
21 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Briatore out over Renault fix row
16 Sep 09 |  Formula 1

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