It’s a good thing for the French footballers that were punished for their unruly actions this summer in the World Cup that they didn’t have to answer to UEFA president Michel Platini. The former Les Bleus star thinks that the French national team players deserved lifetime suspensions for their insubordinate behavior under Raymond Domenech’s reign. But only one player was basically given such a sentence in Nikolas Anelka, who was suspended 18 games for quitting the team following a locker room outburst from the Chelsea man, so many of the punished players have already returned to the club.
But Platini believes that even 18 games was not enough for Anelka or any the other men for that matter. The former French national team midfielder and current president of the UEFA must think that Patrice Evra (five games), Franck Ribery (three games) and Jeremy Toulalan (one game) all deserved as severe a punishment for following Anelka’s lead as the Chelsea man received. You can probably add Eric Abidal to the list as well considering the defender was forced to talk to the board and was considered one of the problems in the locker room this summer.
I guess you can consider this revelation to be a bit of a surprise from Platini considering you would think that he would want to remain in good light with many of the current national team stars including Ribery and Evra, but I suppose this is a classic old school verses new school mentality going on. I imagine in Platini’s day if you quit your team or refused to practice then no second chance would be handed out to you regardless of who was the coach and what was being argued. It’s among the lowest things a professional athlete can do, period.
Platini has no tolerance for this type of stuff because frankly it is embarrassing to his generation of stars and the legacy they have left with the FFF. Having players that refuse to practice yet represent the same jersey that he once wore is probably disappointing to him personally and you can understand why. On the other hand, denying the Frank Ribery’s of the world a roster spot would be criminal in itself. So I don’t think suspending all the players for life would necessarily help the team’s results in the next few years.
But by next World Cup I expect to see plenty of fresh faces on France’s team. After all most of the guys that acted out will be past their prime by 2014 anyways. So Platini will at least be able to root for a new generation of French stars for future Cups.