Fifa have chosen to extend the remit of a provisional suspension handed to Mamadou Sakho amid investigations over a possible anti-doping violation. The Liverpool centre-back was found to have failed a drugs test following a Europa League round of 16 second-leg tie against Manchester United in March, with the issue believed to centre around a type of fat-burning substance.
Sakho, who subsequently played in both quarter-final clashes with Borussia Dortmund and even added a crucial third goal in the decisive 4-3 victory at Anfield, was not initially banned, although he came to an agreement with Liverpool that he would not be available for selection until the matter was resolved. European governing body Uefa eventually handed the 26-year-old a 30-day suspension pending a disciplinary hearing, and additionally revealed that he had not requested an analysis of his B sample.
Fifa has now expanded that ruling worldwide. In an official statement, they said: "The chairman of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the sanction imposed on 28 April 2016 by the chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body of Uefa on the French player Mamadou Sakho for an anti-doping rule violation to have worldwide effect in accordance with article 136 ff. of the Fifa Disciplinary Code.
"As a consequence, Mr Sakho is provisionally suspended worldwide for 30 days as of 28 April 2016 in accordance with the terms of the decision passed by the chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body of Uefa. This suspension covers all types of matches, including domestic, international, friendly and official fixtures. The decision of the chairman of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee was notified today to The Football Association Ltd., the French Football Association and Uefa."
Sakho's fate now depends upon Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body, who could choose to hand the player a maximum ban of two years. A lesser absence of anywhere up to 12 months would also come as a huge blow, as it would rule him out of contention for Didier Deschamps' 23-man squad for this summer's Euro 2016 finals on home soil. France begin the tournament against Group A rivals Romania in Paris on Friday 10 June.
A possible precedent was set by club teammate Kolo Toure during his time at Manchester City. Back in 2011, the experienced Ivorian defender also failed a drugs test and was handed a six-month suspension from all football after taking water pills belonging to his wife. That was back-dated to include his provisional ban and he was also target-tested for a period of two years.