Platini advocates lifetime bans for French rebels

UEFA president Michel Platini believes the French players responsible for the World Cup fiasco should have been handed lifetime suspensions.

Platini labelled the rebel players “completely useless” and “absolute idiots” after they boycotted a training session in protest at Nicolas Anelka’s expulsion from the tournament.

Anelka, who was sent home after his profanity-laced tirade against then-coach Raymond Domenech during France’s 2-0 loss to Mexico, was subsequently suspended for 18 games.

The French federation also handed suspensions to former captain Patrice Evra (five games), Franck Ribery (three games) and Jeremy Toulalan (one game) for their part in the boycott.

Platini, who won the 1984 European championship with France then failed to impress as the national team’s coach, told So Foot magazine he would have gone much further.

“You can’t mess with the French team’s image,” Platini said. “I would have been far tougher, I would have handed them a lifetime ban.”

France was eliminated without winning a game at the World Cup, but despite being critical of Domenech’s poor communication skills, Platini said no other coach could have achieved a better result.

“(Jose) Mourinho would not have done better than Domenech,” Platini said. “We don’t have a good team, we don’t have a great generation of players.”

After Anelka said last week he never wanted to sing the national anthem, Platini added he did not sing it either when he was a player.

“I never sang the Marseillaise and yet I love France,” Platini said. “This is a warrior anthem which has nothing to do with the joy of football.”

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