Evra loses French appeal
Patrice Evra has lost his appeal against a five-match ban from playing for France, the French Football Federation have confirmed. Evra attended a hearing today to make his case against the suspension, imposed for the then France captain's role in the revolt against coach Raymond Domenech at the World Cup in South Africa this summer. "The Appeals High Commission, which met today to consider the appeal by the player Patrice Evra, has decided to confirm the five-match sanction for non-selection by Team France," said a statement on the FFF website. The Manchester United defender was trying to overturn the penalty imposed after the squad went on strike midway through the group stage, in which they failed to win any of their three matches. The hearing was held this morning, and Evra's lawyer had sounded optimistic as they waited for a verdict in the afternoon. "Patrice has been able to explain himself at great length, and the committee listened very carefully and asked good questions," Jean-Yves Foucard, said in comments reported by L'Equipe. "Patrick said he undertook his role in a transparent, honest way, each time trying to smooth things over between the players and the staff, including the coach, and one can understand that these relations were not simple. "The committee heard his sincerity, and had to understand that each time he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, as the go-between, and they cannot blame him for that." However, the decision to reject his appeal means that Evra, who has already sat out two France matches, will not be available for selection until the friendly against Brazil, which is scheduled for February 9 next year.
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