Marseille goalkeeper Fabien Barthez appears before the disciplinary committee of the French Football Federation (FFF) on Thursday charged with spitting at a referee.

“The sanction, if it is a ban, could hurt the team and affect our objectives,” Marseille coach Philippe Troussier told reporters on Wednesday.

“Fabien has been in a difficult situation for three months and is impatient to know what the decision will be,” he added.

France keeper Barthez was reported for spitting at the Moroccan referee during a friendly match between Wydad Casablanca and Marseille in February.

A brawl erupted on the pitch after Marseille defender Frederic Dehu was sent off and the match was abandoned with 10 minutes left.

“I am confident,” Dehu said. “I am not going there to defend Fabien. He has people with him who will do that. I’m going to defend myself. Personally, I don’t think I will be banned.”