French football chiefs ban five players for breaking curfew
The French Football Federation on Thursday banned five players from the national team for more than one year for breaking a night-time curfew last month between two European championship qualifiers in order to visit a nightclub.
A group of France under-21 players picked up lengthy international bans on Thursday as punishment for breaking a night-time curfew between two key European championship qualifiers last month.
The guilty five are Rennes duo Yann Mvila and Chris Mavinga, Wissam Ben Yedder of Toulouse, Real Sociedad's Antoine Griezmann and Mbaye Niang of AC Milan.
Mvila picked up the longest suspension, until June 30, 2014, with the other four banned until December 31, 2013.
The stringent punishments were handed down by the French Football Federation's disciplinary committee.
Mvila's lawyer raised the possibility of an appeal.
"He is more or less floored (by the ban) and we are all discussing an eventual appeal," Thierry Fillion told AFP.
The group's nocturnal antics were first unveiled by L'Equipe, the French sports daily, which revealed that the players defied team orders and left the France under-21 base in the northern city of Le Havre to go to a Paris nightspot on the night of October 13/14.
The team had beaten Norway 1-0 the previous evening in a Euro 2013 play-off but suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Scandinavians 5-3 on Tuesday. France coach Erick Mombaerts was sacked after the loss.
The FFF had previously warned Mvila about his future conduct after he refused to shake then-France coach Laurent Blanc's hand when he was substituted during the national side's quarter-final clash with Spain in Euro 2012.
For Mvila Thursday's ruling effectively rules him out of taking part in the 2014 World Cup finals, should France qualify.