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Disciplinary hearing against French quartet

Panel investigating alleged disciplinary breaches during Euro 2012

Gulf News

Paris: A French Football Federation committee was on Friday examining whether to impose sanctions on four players for disciplinary breaches during Euro 2012.

The panel will decide whether to fine or suspend Sami Nasri, Yann Mvila, Hatem Ben Arfa and Jeremy Menez for their behaviour during last month’s competition, which saw France crash out to eventual winners Spain in the quarter-finals.

Manchester City’s Nasri risks the heaviest sanction, after shouting “Shut your mouth” to television cameras following his goal in the 1-1 draw with England in a tirade he later said was aimed at a journalist who wrote a critical article.

He then directed a string of foul-mouthed insults at an AFP journalist after the Spain match.

Nasri spent about 30 minutes at the FFF headquarters on Friday then left without saying anything to waiting journalists.

Ben Arfa has been summoned for an altercation with coach Laurent Blanc in the changing rooms after the 2-0 defeat to Sweden, while Menez has been called over a spat with captain Hugo Lloris and insulting the referee after the Spain game.

Mvila has been asked to explain his refusal to shake substitute Olivier Giroud and Blanc’s hand when he was replaced.

Menez is currently on tour in the United States with Paris Saint-Germain but his lawyer Carlo Alberto Brusa said the player “deeply regrets” what happened and his actions were a result of an “error of youth”.

“He hopes that the commission will take into account his publicly expressed regrets [in an interview on Thursday with L’Equipe],” the lawyer added.

FFF president Noel Le Graet has said that suspending the players would “not be reasonable” but the behaviour of the players has been a source of debate in France and led to calls for their bonuses not to be paid.

It came two years after France players went on strike during the World Cup in South Africa that led to the suspension of four players, including Nicolas Anelka for 18 games, Patrice Evra for five and Franck Ribery for three.