Soccer-Bastia striker suspended for post-match headbutt

PARIS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Bastia striker Brandao was suspended for four weeks by the French football league on Thursday for his post-match headbutt on Paris St Germain's Thiago Motta last weekend, pending a decision on what the Brazilian's ultimate punishment could be.

The league's disciplinary committee said in a statement it would suspend Brandao from Friday, until his hearing on Sept. 18.

Brandao's lawyer said medical experts have not clearly established at this stage how much Brandao had hurt Thiago Motta and thus how serious his sanction might be. The striker will take the time off to rest and prepare for the hearing, he added.

"He regrets his gesture and he told the committee so," the lawyer, Olivier Martin, told BFM TV.

Security camera footage broadcast after last Saturday's game on French TV, and replayed repeatedly this week, shows Brandao standing near the middle of the corridor outside the changing rooms at Parc des Princes in Paris after the Corsican club's 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Ligue 1 champions.

Facing the camera as Thiago Motta strides into view, Brandao - who was replaced during the game after picking up a yellow card - calmly takes two steps forward before leaning in to make contact with the Italian international's face.

He then turns and runs away with Thiago Motta in pursuit. Separate footage shown on Canal+ television showed blood pouring from Thiago Motta's nose. A medical report on PSG's web site says the midfielder's nose is broken.

French league rules allow for a maximum ban of two years for incidents like Saturday's, provided the injured player is deemed through a special medical certificate to be unable to play for more than eight days.

But PSG coach Laurent Blanc said Motta would play in the Paris club's next match on Friday, and a club spokesman said no certificate had been issued. Under normal circumstances, that could mean a maximum ban of eight games for Brandao.

However, the league's disciplinary committee may consider Brandao to be a repeat offender. The 34-year old former Olympique de Marseille player received a three-match ban last season for elbowing another PSG player, Yohan Cabaye.

Bastia have yet to take their own action against Brandao.

A club statement this week said it "condemns without ambiguity" Brandao's action, but also "deplores the behaviour of certain players who never stop insulting and provoking their opponents".

Nasser al-Khelaifi, PSG president, said after the incident on Saturday that Brandao should be banned for life. (Reporting by Gregory Blachier, Andrew Callus and Natalie Huet, editing by Mark Meadows)