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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

Ancelotti attacks length of Anelka ban

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti believes the French Football Federation went over the top in banning Nicolas Anelka for 18 matches.

• Anelka laughs off ban
• Hutchinson forced to retire
• Essien takes a break from Ghana

Anelka, 31, received the suspension after being sent home from the World Cup following a reported bust-up with the then-France coach Raymond Domenech.

The Chelsea striker blasted the FFF as "clowns'' and laughed off the ban, insisting he had already retired from international football.

Ancelotti insisted Anelka did not deserve such a punishment and he said: "I think it was unfair for him - 18 games is too much. I don't know what happened there but Anelka is an honest man and he didn't deserve the decision.

"It is good news for myself because he can stay here to train during the international break, he can maintain a good condition. But for him it is not good news because every player wants to play in the national team. But Anelka has reacted very well. He has taken it with good spirit.''

Anelka built up a reputation earlier in his career as a player who could be difficult to handle. But asked whether Anelka has ever caused him any trouble at Chelsea, Ancelotti said: "No, never.''

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