Football Champions


Memories are short in football, but none more so than those in the Les Bleus camp. Despite everything seemingly going fine and dandy under Laurent Blanc at the moment – four straight victories – at least one man in the camp just can’t seem to quit Nicolas Anelka, their World Cup pariah (one of ‘em, anyway).

It’s like watching the girl just back on her feet stumble back to the abusive ex-boyfriend. Why won’t they ever learn?

Man of epic name, Alain Boghossian, speaks:

“I’ve seen a lot of Chelsea matches … no-one is banned. However, he may have banned himself. He said he did not want to wear the jersey of the team. What can we do – pull his hair to make him come? It will be difficult because he does not have much hair!

“We can’t keep talking about absent players though; we have to move on.”

Your confusion is forgiven.

Nicolas Anelka’s career in international football was in effect brought to an end today after he was given an 18-match ban for his role in France’s controversial mutiny during the World Cup in June.

Also confused are Franck Ribery, whose suspension was just lifted, and Patrice Evra, still riding out his five game timeout for a failed mutiny.

The 18 games Anelka is supposedly banned for would run up…well, don’t really know, because he’d only reach 14 at the end of Euro 2012 qualifying. With this under consideration and Anelka at an advanced int’l age, you’d have to imagine the French federation is considering lessening their sanctions.

Perhaps someone in the French media, Canal+ possibly, decided that with Ribery and Evra possibly returning, the potential for another tabloid-centric meltdown of international proportions was just too good to pass up.

Of course whether or not they can convince Anelka is another matter entirely. They can’t, as they say, pull his hair, but I’m sure someone could send him a text message.


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