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I deserve to forget 1993 nightmare, says Ginola
Published : 07 Mar 2012 21:17:01
Former French international David Ginola launched a libel action against former coach Gerard Houllier Wednesday and insisted he had the right to forget his 1993 World Cup qualifier horror show.
Ginola is suing Houllier for defamation, accusing the ex-Liverpool boss of labelling him a "salaud" (bastard) in a book written by two journalists, 'Secrets des Coachs' (Coaches' Secrets), over his role in the 1993 defeat by Bulgaria.
Ranked as one of France's biggest sporting setbacks, Ginola was widely vilified for an over-hit cross that led to Emil Kostadinov scoring an 89th-minute goal in a 2-1 win in Paris that took Bulgaria to the 1994 World Cup at France's expense.
"I want the right to forget," said Ginola. "Gerard Houllier said that I am a bastard and that I had committed a crime against the French team."
But Houllier said he had nothing against Ginola, who he described as "engaging".
"I never doubted his integrity. If I regret anything it is using the word 'crime' in place of 'serious mistake'.
"There is no acrimony."
Both Houllier and the publishers deny defamation.
Ginola is seeking 5,000 euros in damages, a sum he said will be donating to a sporting association.
A decision is expected on April 4.