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Lyon coach Gerard Houllier has threatened not to release defender Eric Abidal for France’s friendly against Slovakia in Paris next week.

Abidal broke his foot in an international friendly against Costa Rica in Martinique in November and returned to action for Lyon only last week after a four-month layoff. The case prompted Lyon to sue FIFA for one million euros in compensation.

“I called the French coach on Wednesday and I asked him not to put Eric on his list as I don’t want him to play in this match,” Houllier said.

Houllier made similar comments before the November match against Costa Rica but relented because the match raised money for victims of a plane crash. But Martinique-born Abidal returned with a broken foot.

“We find ourselves in the same situation as the one before the match against Costa Rica,” Houllier said. “Eric resumed playing only recently and he already has to play a load of matches.

“Maybe we will be fined by FIFA but I’m caring about Abidal and I don’t want him to get injured again,” Houllier said. “I think the club is going to back me on this one.

“When I was manager [of Liverpool] in England the national team coach was much more understanding,” Houllier added.

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