United to spare Evra from French mutiny inquest
Manchester United want to block Patrice Evra's involvement in the French Football Federation's disciplinary hearing into the mutiny of their World Cup players.
Evra has been summoned to appear in Paris next Tuesday along with Nicolas Anelka, Eric Abidal, Franck Ribéry and Jérémy Toulalan to give their account about what went wrong in South Africa, but United are unhappy about losing their player for a date outside the international football calendar.
Bayern Munich have refused to release Ribéry, pointing out there is nothing in Fifa's statutes to let the French authorities "randomly remove" players from their clubs. Ribéry has been recovering from a groin operation and the Bayern chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said the club did not want him to miss training three days before they play their first match of the new Bundesliga season against Wolfsburg, adding: "Our preparations should have priority over a World Cup debriefing."
United think much the same way but, out of respect for Evra, they will consult with the left-back before informing the federation. If Evra makes a strong case to be released, Sir Alex Ferguson may relent rather than bring any more adverse publicity on a player who was depicted as one of the ringleaders behind the training-ground strike once Anelka had been sent home for a dressing-room outburst at Raymond Domenech, the unpopular manager.
Ferguson believes his player has been blamed unfairly because, as captain, it was Evra's duty to act as the team spokesman and inform Domenech of the players' decision. However, the feeling behind the scenes at Old Trafford is that Evra has no great desire to take part in the hearing.
Laurent Blanc, who has replaced Domenech, left out all 23 members of the World Cup squad when he named his selection for his first game, against Norway tonight, and Evra has expressed surprise that he faces further punishment, saying: "I had the impression everybody wanted to turn the World Cup page. We need to think about the future. Why sanction us more than others?"
Evra returned to training last week, having been given extra time off after the World Cup, and was not involved in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday. He does hope to play, fitness permitting, against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Monday.
Latest Forum Comments
Too right as well... I can't understand why the French Football Federation have decided that next Tuesday is an acceptable time to have this? None of the players have been picked to play for France in the friendly so if they want to have a disciplinary hearing then they should be having it during this international break, not next week once the season is underway.- Dave
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