The French national soccer team has done it again. They have disgraced themselves and their country on a multi-national stage for the second time in a row at the Euro 2012 tournament, after doing the same thing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
It may cost the players their 100,000 euro bonuses for reaching the quarterfinals, too, according to AFP's Yann Bernal, via Yahoo! Sports:
Each member of the French team, which lost 2-0 in the quarters to eventual winners Spain, was eligible for a bonus of 100,000 euros. But in light of the in-fighting and ill-discipline that dogged the country's Euro campaign, federation president Noel Le Graet said: 'The whole of the bonuses of the France team at Euro 2012 are frozen.'
According to the report, four players are up for disciplinary reviews after their abominable behavior:
Nasri verbally abused an AFP journalist after the loss to Spain and was seen as a disruptive influence throughout, while Ben Arfa had a dressing room row with Laurent Blanc, who stood down as coach after the tournament.
Menez railed at a referee, and gestured at captain Hugo Lloris during the Spain game, telling him to shut up, while M'Vila did not shake hands with Blanc or his replacement when he was substituted by Olivier Giroud.
This latest rash of behavioral dysfunction hints at an epidemic. This is the same kind of crap the French team pulled in 2010 in South Africa, and although most of the players from that team weren't on the 2012 Euro team, the problems persisted.
Maybe it's a false sense of entitlement that's causing these players to act in such selfish and vulgar ways. Maybe the problem lies further down the line at the amateur levels where these players are being brought up.
Should the entire team be denied their bonus, or just the four bad apples?
Whatever it is, France must take swift and decisive action to avoid becoming a pariah to the rest of the world in these soccer events.
The French national soccer team must start behaving with dignity and class, and they must do so soon. What they've done over the last couple of years is unconscionable, and the only thing it does for them is make them outcasts.
I'm glad to see that actions have been taken to stem the tide of this unfortunate trend. We'll see soon enough whether or not the disciplinary actions taken will be enough to put an end to France's disgraceful actions for good.