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Nicolas Anelka, who was at the centre of the storm after he fell out with coach Raymond Domenech and got sent home from South Africa, has been banned for eighteen international games.
Captain Patrice Evra has been banned for five games and vice-captain Franck Ribery has been banned for three. Their crime was not undertaking their duties in a proper manner. Jeremy Toulalan was believed to be something of a ringleader and he too has been handed a one game ban.
The former deputy managing director of the team, Jean-Louis Valentin said after the hearing,
“I sensed that the players are truthfully sorry, and been left damaged and mortified at what took place, they were conscious of a collective meltdown. I believe that now it is imperative we turn the page and move on. I believe that to a certain extent there has been a very good dialogue at the commission which lasted a relatively long time. As a lover of the French team, and as a supporter of the France team, I think that each player has the right to a second chance.”
That all sounds good then!
Let us see what other people made of it. Nicolas Anelka, presumably someone described by Valentin as being truthfully sorry, told France Soir,
“This whole thing is a nonsense, to turn the page because new coach Laurent Blanc needs to be able to work in peace. These people are clowns. I’m dying with laughter. This ban has no relevance whatsoever because as far as I’m concerned my international career finished when I was thrown out of training on 19 June. The whole commission thing is a charade not to lose face.”
OK, maybe Anelka doesn’t agree with what has gone on. What about the French players union? They released a statement saying,
“Because they are disproportionate, the sanctions have no value. Instead, they will impede the progress of Laurent Blanc. The officials who voted for Raymond Domenech to stay in the job in 2008 went unpunished even though everyone knows that they were the real culprits.”
Doesn’t look as though the commission has a great deal of support does it?
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