Escalettes: Anelka cannot play for France again

Nicolas Anelka should never play for Les Bleus again, according to outgoing French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes.

The Chelsea striker was sent home from France’s World Cup campaign earlier this month after refusing to apologise for a dressing-room rant aimed at coach Raymond Domenech.

That sent the camp into chaos as the players refused to train, ostensibly in support of Anelka, and Les Bleus crashed out after losing to South Africa in their final group game.

“Neither I nor my successor, nor the future coach will forget what happened and everyone will ensure that he can not play for France,” Escalettes, who stepped down from his position as president in the wake of the debacle, was quoted as saying in L’Equipe.

About what happened in the dressing room, Escalettes added: “I only knew what I read in L’Equipe.

“As soon as I knew, and having made a minimum of checks – a player told me that the remarks were worse than reported – I immediately punished the perpetrator of this insult.”

Escalettes was speaking before a Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly – the transcript of which was acquired by and published on website – as the inquest into how France’s campaign was allowed to go disastrously wrong continued.

Also speaking to the committee was Domenech, who was forced to explain his actions in refusing to shake the hand of South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira following their defeat.

At the time, Domenech explained it was because of comments the Brazilian had made about the manner of their qualification, courtesy of Thierry Henry’s infamous handball against the Republic of Ireland.

“The whole of France being well-meaning and so quick to make moral found no fault with the accusations of Mr Parreira,” he told the committee.

“It is important for me to defend the image of the France team.

“I probably did not measure the negative media coverage of my gesture.

“I probably should have told him directly and discreetly.”

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