Evra to appeal against France ban

The 29-year-old defender was captain of France at this summer’s
World Cup finals in which they disappointed after crashing out at
the first hurdle. Controversy reigned as players went on strike the
day after Nicolas Anelka was sent home for lashing out at then
manager Raymond Domenech for being played out of position. The
squad took exception to Anelka’s treatment and refused to train the
following day in one of the most embarrassing days in the nation’s
footballing history. The FFF’s disciplinary committee handed
Manchester United left-back Evra a five-game ban for his part in
the strike, although his lawyer insists nothing official has been
filed and that he will appeal the sentence. “To this day, Mr
Patrice Evra has not received notification of the decision by the
Federal Disciplinary Commission (of the French Football Federation)
on August 17 banning him from the French team for five matches,”
his lawyer Jean-Yves Foucard said. “Mr Patrice Evra has decided to
appeal in that nothing untoward can be ascribed to him on an
individual basis given that the responsibility for the said events
on the (team) bus at Knysna is to all evidence collective.” Foucard
went on to state that the appeal would “allow Mr Laurent Blanc, the
national coach, to select Mr Patrice Evra if he so wishes as the
appeal is suspensive” under federation rules. However, a federation
legal department spokesman insists Evra’s lawyer is incorrect: “The
lawyer has it all wrong. The decision was sent out and the reasons
behind the punishment will be there and the disciplinary body has
moreover decided to lift the suspensive element – this appeal is
not suspensive.” The federation’s commission banned Evra and three
other ringleaders of the training ground strike after finding that
he had not properly carried out his duties as skipper. Anelka was
banned for 18 matches – effectively ending his France career –
Franck Ribery was handed a three-game ban, while Jeremy Toulalan
will serve a one-game suspension. Another player, Eric Abidal,
escaped a ban altogether. Blanc himself was surprised at the
varying length of the bans for what he deemed a “collective act”
and he called on the Commission to “explain to me if they had clear
and precise criteria” behind their ruling. On the subject of
Anelka, Blanc said: “I would like someone to explain to me why 18
matches, and why not 19 or 20 – it needs explaining.” After the
bans were first announced Blanc had said: “It’s obviously not an
ideal situation for French football, which will need all its top
players when the qualifying games for Euro 2012 begin.”