Soccer

Samir Nasri banned for 3 matches by French FA

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PARIS (AP)

The French Football Federation banned midfielder Samir Nasri on Friday for three matches because of his undisciplined behavior at the European Championship.

Nasri issued an expletive-laced rant at a journalist following France's 2-0 defeat to Spain in the quarterfinals. He previously made a sarcastic gesture with his finger over his mouth and yelled ''Shut your mouth!'' at another journalist after scoring in the opening Group D match against England.

The ban rules Nasri out of a friendly against Uruguay next month, and 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Belarus.

Three other players appeared before the FFF's disciplinary hearing on Friday because of their misbehavior at Euro 2012.

Winger Jeremy Menez was given a one-match ban, while winger Hatem Ben Arfa and central midfielder Yann M'Vila escaped with reprimands.

Menez swore at captain Hugo Lloris during the same match and M'Vila left the pitch without shaking the hand of France coach Laurent Blanc or that of Olivier Giroud, his replacement.

Ben Arfa was involved in a heated changing-room bust-up with Blanc following the 2-0 defeat to Sweden in the final group match, reportedly angering the coach by speaking on his mobile phone while Blanc was addressing the players following the defeat. Blanc turned down a new contract offer after Euro 2012 and Didier Deschamps is now in charge.

Jean Mazella, who heads the disciplinary committee, told RMC radio that the players ''did not apologize'' but that they ''regretted what they said and how they behaved.''

Menez was represented at the hearing by his lawyer.

''He regrets what happened. It was an error of youth,'' lawyer Carlo Alberto Brusa said.

The incidents undermined Blanc's attempts to rebuild the national team's image following the 2010 World Cup under former coach Raymond Domenech. Striker Nicolas Anelka received an 18-match ban after insulting coach Raymond Domenech in the dressing room during the tournament in South Africa.

Several players - including captain Patrice Evra - received shorter bans for their part in a training-ground strike in protest over Anelka being sent home.

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