Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Anelka: 'I'm dying from laughter'
by Paul Kennedy, August 17th, 2010 6:17PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  france, world cup

MOST COMMENTED

[FRANCE] French star Nicolas Anelka’s international career is effectively over following the 18-game ban he was handed by the French soccer federation (FFF) for his tirade at Coach Raymond Domenech during halftime of the France-Mexico game at the World Cup. Three other players, Patrice Evra, Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan, were handed shorter suspensions for their role in the training camp mutiny in protest over Anelka's expulsion from the World Cup.

SUSPENSIONS. Evra, the French captain in South Africa, received a five-game ban, Ribery, the vice-president, was suspended three games, while Toulalan, who wrote the boycott letter issued to the press, was handed a one-game suspension. The suspensions are all subject to appeal.

Eric Abidal, the fifth player called to the four-hour disciplinary hearing, was not punished. He had already announced his international retirement.

“They are a bit bruised by the way things unfolded,” said Jean Mazzella, president of the disciplinary commission. “They didn’t think it would take on the proportions that it has, that’s for sure.”

Only Evra, Toulalan and Abidal attended the hearing. Bayern Munich, which opens the Bundesliga season at Friday, refused to let Ribery travel to Paris. Anelka also sent a lawyer in his place.

The players already have been punished financially, with the federation withholding World Cup bonuses.

All 23 World Cup players boycotted the training session two days before the final game against host. They were all suspended from the Aug. 11 friendly against Norway and had their World Cup bonuses withheld.

REACTION. Anelka wasn't upset, telling the French newspaper France-Soir that he was "dying from laughter" and had already turned the page on the national team.

"In any event," he added, "I play in blue every weekend for Chelsea."

He said the whole episode had been a "mascarade" and the FFF disciplinary commission -- which he called "true clowns" -- should also turn the page so new coach Laurent Blanc could get to work on rebuilding the national team.

Elsewhere, reaction to the suspensions was mixed. Everyone was in agreement on one thing, though. It was time to drop the matter and move forward.

Laurent Davenas, a member of the FFF commission that investigated the discipline problems at the World Cup, said Anelka's suspension was out of proportion with the others.

"Eighteen games is very severe," he said. "You might as well have banned him for life."

Lorient coach Christian Gourcuff, whose son Yoann was on the French team, said the FFF has gotten things backwards.

"Everyone has forgotten the essential thing: what happened on the field," he said in reference to France's first-round exit without a win. "No one talks about it."

FUTURE. Only Ribery and Toulalan figure to be part of Blanc's squad that will begin Euro 2012 qualifying in September.

Longtime French coach Guy Roux called the suspensions "stupid and mean."

"The FFF is without its best player [Ribery] for three games and its second best player [Toulalan] for the start of qualifying. That's great. The federation sure wants to make qualifying difficult."

As for Anelka's suspension, Roux joked, "That beard he likes to have will be white by the time he's finished his suspension."



0 comments
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: August 18, 2010 at 8:57 p.m.
    The ENTIRE team should have faced the same suspension, Ribary and Toulalan got off light


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Switzerland-USA: Klinsmann seeks chemistry     
Coming off a 3-2 loss to Denmark, which featured another last-game collapse by the Americans, Coach ...
What They're Saying: Thomas Rongen    
"On the highest level, I'm not so sure that Jurgen Klinsmann is the right person for ...
MLS Power Rankings: Gritty FC Dallas tie keeps it on top    
Down to 10 men early in the game, FC Dallas held out for a 0-0 tie ...
U-17 striker Haji Wright joins New York Cosmos    
The NASL's New York Cosmos have signed 17-year-old Southern California product Haji Wright, who started at ...
What They're Saying: CMN Sports    
"As an organization, CMN Sports takes pride in providing some of the most exhilarating soccer matches ...
Road to Russia: Belize survives Caymans' scare    
Belize, Nicaragua, Bermuda and Dominica wrapped up series victories in the first round of World Cup ...
Video Pick: A 60-yard goal from young Belgian     
Marco Weymans, a 17-year-old Belgian who plays for Dutch club PSV, scored from his own half ...
Europe in a Nutshell: Big week for the British Isles     
An international break for Euro 2016 qualifying in the pursuit of Paris: Reviewing an interesting week ...
Freddie Adu signs with Finnish club KuPS    
Freddy Adu has signed a one-year contract with Finnish club KuPS, the 11th club in 12 ...
Morris replaces Johannsson on U.S. roster    
The second forward is the snake-bitten position on the U.S. national team's trip to Europe. After ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives