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Aug 24, 2010

Evra to appeal against France suspension

France World Cup captain Patrice Evra will appeal the five-match ban he was handed by a disciplinary commission for his role in Les Bleus' embarassing player boycott at the finals in South Africa.

Evra and his France team-mates refused to train, two days before a crucial final group game against South Africa, in protest of the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka from the squad following an argument with coach Raymond Domenech.

Anelka was last week handed an 18-game ban by the French Football Federation (FFF) - though the Chelsea frontman laughed off his punishment, describing it as "a farce".

But Evra sees his own suspension as no laughing matter, and he is determined to appeal the decision of the FFF, according to his lawyer Jean-Yves Foucard.

"To this day, Mr Patrice Evra has not received notification of the decision by the Federal Disciplinary Commission on August 17 banning him from the French team for five matches," Foucard said.

"Mr Patrice Evra has decided to appeal in that nothing untoward can be ascribed to him on an individual basis given that the responsability for the said events on the (team) bus at Knysna is to all evidence collective."

Evra's lawyer claimed that his client will now be available for France's Euro 2012 qualifiers next month and any subsequent matches until the appeal is heard.

However, a spokesman from the FFF's legal department told AFP: "The lawyer has it all wrong. The decision was sent out today and the reasons behind the punishment will be there and the disciplinary body has moreover decided to lift the suspensive element - this appeal is not suspensive."

Even if the punishments were suspended, it is likely a few eyebrows will be raised at the FFF if current Les Bleus coach Laurent Blanc were to select the player.

But Blanc has already expressed his surprise at the varying length of the players suspensions for what he deemed a "collective act", calling on the disciplinary commission to "explain to me if they had clear and precise criteria" behind their ruling.

While Anelka and Evra received 18 and five-game bans respectively, Franck Ribery was handed a three-game ban, while Jeremy Toulalan will be forced to miss one match.

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