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 By Mark Rodden

France's Didier Deschamps to take legal action against Eric Cantona

France coach Didier Deschamps is set to take legal action against Eric Cantona over comments his former teammate made about his selections for Euro 2016.

Cantona caused controversy on Thursday by suggesting in The Guardian that Nice forward Hatem Ben Arfa and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema may have been left out of France's squad because of their ethnicity.

Deschamps declined to respond to the ex-Manchester United attacker but his lawyer Carlo Alberto Brusa told RMC that his client viewed the accusation as "very serious."

Brusa believes Deschamps' character has been unfairly called into question by what he sees as defamatory remarks.

Eric Cantona won 45 caps for France.

"This team is an example of diversity," Brusa told L'Equipe. "It includes more players of foreign origin than 1998, which was cited as an example."

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told RMC that Cantona was "ridiculous" to make the suggestion he did and pointed out that Deschamps had given strong backing to Benzema when he was struggling to score for his national team.

France chose not to select Benzema for Euro 2016 after he was charged with conspiracy to blackmail last year as part of an investigation into an alleged attempt to extort money from his France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

Ben Arfa, who scored 17 Ligue 1 goals for Nice this season, was named on a standby list for the tournament. He will only be included in the final squad if there are any injuries in attack.

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