The French Football Federation (FFF) has opened disciplinary proceedings against five of the players who went on strike at the World Cup in South Africa.
Nicolas Anelka, Franck Ribery, Eric Abidal, Jeremy Toulalan and captain Patrice Evra will appear before the disciplinary commission of the French federation this month.
“These five players were selected because each claimed a key role in the strike,” Laurent Davenas, a judge who was appointed to a three-person panel that looked into the team’s behavior at the World Cup, told reporters after he left a FFF board meeting today in Paris.
Federation president Fernand Duchaussoy said it doesn’t necessarily mean sanctions will be taken.
Investigators interviewed 18 of the 23 World Cup players, staff members and federation officials who were in South Africa when the players decided to boycott a practice.
The strike was to protest Nicolas Anelka’s exclusion from the squad following an expletive-filled tirade directed at France coach Raymond Domenech during a 2-0 loss to Mexico.
Regarding other players, the federal council considered that withholding World Cup bonuses which were due to be paid for advertising benefits, added to the collective suspension for next week’s friendly in Norway, were ‘appropriate’ punishments.