French minister against Ribery, Evra recalls

AFP, Thursday 17 Mar 2011

French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno said on Thursday that she hopes France coach Laurent Blanc does not recall Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra for the country's forthcoming matches


Ribery and Evra received bans of three and five games respectively for their roles in the France squad's mutiny at last year's World Cup in South Africa and have not played for Les Bleus since the end of the tournament.

Jouanno had previously stated that she considered a return for the alleged ringleaders of the World Cup strike "unacceptable" and she reiterated her stance on Thursday.

"I stand by (what I said), nothing has really changed," said Jouanno during a visit to France's National Rugby Centre (CNR) in Marcoussis.

"There have been no excuses, no mea culpas and at the time they didn't renounce their bonuses.

"Now, as the role of a minister is not be the France coach but to defend the values of the French team and of sport in general, I would regret it (if Ribery and Evra were recalled)."

France visit Luxembourg in a Euro 2012 qualifier on March 25 before hosting Croatia in a friendly match in Paris four days later.

Coach Laurent Blanc will announce his squad for the two matches at 1400 local time (1300GMT) on Thursday.

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