Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Anelka: 'I'm dying from laughter'
by Paul Kennedy, August 17th, 2010 6:17PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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
MLS Power Rankings: Crew SC jumps up 11 spots    
Idle FC Dallas stayed No. 1 in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings, but the Portland Timbers ...
USA-Panama: Americans not expecting another 6-0 win    
The USA men's team has never lost in Panama City and buoyed by a 6-0 stomping ...
Video Pick: All Pulisic touches vs. Honduras    
The 18-year-old Christian Pulisic scored and had two assists in the USA's 6-0 win over Honduras, ...
Video Pick: Ronaldo hits 70th with perfect free kick    
Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal, a low, far-range free kick off the inside far post, in a ...
Datebook: Hexagonal Matchday 4    
The USA will face Panama Tuesday with a chance to move back into the top three ...
Hex Files: Pinto stays on as Honduras coach -- for now    
Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto will stay on as head coach of the Honduran national team despite ...
What They're Saying: Adrian Heath    
"Every time they attacked it looked like they were going to score ..." -- Minnesota United ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"I don't think there's any perfect way to protest. I think if there was something else ...
Crowd Count: Three USL teams set records in openers    
Three USL teams set club attendance records on opening day, topped by the Richmond Kickers, who ...
MLS Injury Report: Grella out with knee injury    
The New York Red Bulls lost midfielder Mike Grella indefinitely while he undergoes treatment on his ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives