The “French disgrace” farce continues, and this time it’s France’s own players that are laughing at the French Football Federation. The latter handed out punishments to a number of players they deemed were responsible for the team’s disastrous showing at the World Cup, in a bid to show they have things under control. The result, however, is anything but.

Captain Patrice Evra was slapped with a 5 match-ban, Ribery and Toulalan got three games each, but the most severe punishment by far was given to Nicolas Anelka. The Chelsea striker, who got sent home for disagreeing with the coach before France’s final game against South Africa, was banned for 18 international games by the FFF. The only problem? He had already retired.

Anelka was quoted as saying that he was “dying from laughter” at the ban, that it had “no relevance” to him, and that the FFF are “clowns” who are playing a “charade” and trying not to lose face. And whether you like him or not, it’s hard to disagree with Anelka on this one. It’s good that the FFF are doing things to correct the problem, but I don’t see how suspending players who have already retired is going to help matters at all. They should just let new coach Blanc decide what is best for the team and not meddle further in any affairs. After all, they gave him the job, so let him do things his own way.

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