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Evra´s five-match France ban upheld after appeal

SoccerNews in Ligue 1, World Cup 9 Sep 2010

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Patrice Evra’s five-match suspension from the French national team was on Thursday upheld by the French Football Federation’s (FFF) appeals commission.

The left-back had appealed against the ban, which was handed down to him by the FFF as a punishment for his leading role, as captain, in the France squad’s training boycott at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

“The superior appeals commission, which met today to consider the appeal by the player Patrick Evra, decided to uphold the sanction of five matches of non-selection for the France team handed down on Tuesday 17 August 2010 by the federal disciplinary commission,” read an FFF statement.

Evra had appeared before the commission on Thursday morning to make his case in person.

“Patrice Evra wanted to express himself, which he did at great length, and the commission listened to him very attentively, and asked good questions,” said Evra’s lawyer, Jean-Yves Foucard, at the end of the hearing.

“Patrice explained that he fulfilled his role (of captain) with transparency and honesty, always trying to smooth the differences between the players and the staff, and particularly the coach.

“You can understand, you can imagine that these relationships were not simple.”

Evra was one of four players punished for the strike, which was called in protest at the exclusion of striker Nicolas Anelka from the World Cup after he clashed with former coach Raymond Domenech.

Anelka was banned for 18 matches by the FFF’s disciplinary panel, with Evra, vice-captain Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan given bans of five matches, three matches and one match respectively.

Evra was the only player to appeal against his suspension.

The Manchester United defender argued that it was unfair to single out individuals after what had been a collective decision to boycott an open training session in Knysna.

New coach Laurent Blanc banned the entire 23-man World Cup squad from his first game in charge, a 2-1 defeat by Norway in a friendly on August 11.

Toulalan’s ban has now expired and Ribery will be available for selection following France’s next Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Romania on October 9.

Evra, however, will not be able to play for France until their friendly game with Brazil in February next year.

He now has a month in which to decide whether he wishes to make a further appeal to France’s National Olympic and Sporting Committee (CNOSF).

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