Marcel Desailly has called for captain Patrice Evra to be suspended for at least two months in the wake of France’s dire World Cup campaign.
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France crashed out in the group stage amid huge unrest in the camp, with Nicolas Anelka and coach Raymond Domenech involved in a bust-up which resulted in the Chelsea striker being expelled from the squad.
A subsequent strike by the players in protest at Anelka’s expulsion added to the air of farce surrounding France’s doomed campaign, which ended with the 2006 World Cup finalists finishing bottom of Group A with just one point and one goal to their credit.
The fallout from the fiasco accounted for French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes, who resigned from his post having shouldered the blame for the dismal showing in South Africa, while Domenech left his role immediately after the World Cup to be succeeded by Laurent Blanc – although that had been decided prior to the tournament.
Desailly, who won 116 caps for France and helped Les Bleus to the World Cup trophy in 1998, and the European Championship title two years later, believes Manchester United defender Evra should also be held accountable.
"The Federation president and the coach have already paid the price," he told French newspaper Metro. "And I think that Evra, who is the origin of the strike, should pay too.
"The captain made a mistake and he has to assume the consequences of his actions.
"He decided not to train, before realising his mistake and apologising. But he deserves at least a temporary suspension.
"He is an excellent player, our best left-back, but he should be suspended for two months, because the captain is the first one to be an example.
"His behaviour affected the image of France throughout the world."