French U21 players blasted for clubbing
PARIS -- France coach Didier Deschamps criticized the "intolerable behavior" of five players from the under-21 national squad on Tuesday for going to a nightclub between two playoff games for the junior 2013 European Championship.
Midfielders Yann M'Vila and Wissam Ben Yedder, winger Antoine Griezmann, striker Mbaye Niang and defender Chris Mavinga all left the Le Havre training camp late at night and drove two hours to Paris and back before the return match against Norway last week.
France lost that match 5-3 to end its qualification hopes, and under-21 coach Erick Mombaerts quit immediately after the defeat.
"I have a big problem accepting what happened between the two games because it led to a sporting failure that cost the coach his job," Deschamps said in an interview with Eurosport. "It was intolerable behavior on the part of the players."
M'Vila and Mavinga have both been dropped by Rennes and ordered to train and play for the reserves until further notice.
The 22-year-old M'Vila, a powerful holding midfielder with 22 senior caps for France, has been in trouble before.
He was also suspended by the French Football Federation for one match after refusing to shake the hand of coach Laurent Blanc and substitute Olivier Giroud when he was taken off against Spain in the European Championship quarterfinals.
"A lot of things are required at the highest level, notably a (sense of) professionalism that goes above everything else -- and this wasn't the case," Deschamps said. "(It is) a total aberration. I'm trying to understand it, to put myself in their position. But I'm having a lot of trouble."
Although he had served his one-game ban, Deschamps failed to include M'Vila in his squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Spain. That match was drawn 1-1 in Madrid just hours after the under-21s lost.
Deschamps insists M'Vila, touted as a major talent two years ago and linked with several top European clubs, still has a future with France providing his attitude improves.
"I won't take a radical stance over one player in particular," Deschamps said. "I make choices. (For) those who aren't here, it's up to them to do what's necessary to come back."