French stars called to explain World Cup farce
Nicolas Anelka and Patrice Evra face disciplinary panel after the French World Cup mutiny
The men regarded as the ringleaders in the French football mutiny during the World Cup are go before a disciplinary hearing in Paris to investigate the events that turned France's campaign into a farce.
Cheslea striker Nicolas Anelka and Manchester United's Patrice Evra are among the five who have been summoned by the French Football Federation.
Eric Abidal, Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan are the other players who have been called to give evidence, although it is believed Ribery's club Bayern Munich have refused to let him attend the hearing.
The disciplinary commission selected five players after a review of an inquiry into the case. Laurent Davenas, a member of the three-man panel, said: "It would have been impossible to hear all 23 players. We tried to target some of them. We have the feeling that some players were kingpins."
Anelka was at the centre of the mutiny after he had a row with coach Raymond Domenech and was expelled from the squad. However, the other players then refused to train after their team mate was sent home. The squad forced Domenech to read out a letter explaining their actions. Evra, the French captain, was seen rowing with a fitness coach and also made allegations about a "traitor" in the camp.
Ribery was summoned as he was the vice-captain. Toulalan admitted that his press officer had helped the players compose the letter and defender Abidal refused to play France's in last group game against South Africa, which they lost 2-1.
France did not win a single game at the tournament and returned home in disgrace. The new national manager Laurent Blanc left all 23 players who went to the tournament out of his first squad and the FFF has withheld advertising bonuses which were due to be paid to players after the World Cup. ·
Comments are now closed on this article