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Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra has been asked to explain his conduct to the French Football Federation, after he went on an expletive-laden rant against an ex-player and television pundits.
Evra, who was briefly ostracised from the French national team following his role in player mutiny at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, was criticised by pundits on television channel Telefoot for making a half-time speech to teammates during the recent World Cup qualifier with Belarus.
France went on to win the match, but the pundits, including World Cup-winning left-back Bixente Lizarazu, suggested Evra should not have made any comments as he was only a substitute.
The 32-year-old responded angrily, per the Press Association (via the Guardian), responding:
There are some pundits with whom I will soon settle my differences … they want to sell a lie to the French people that Evra is disliked. But that is not the case at all.
I do not know what Lizarazu has against me. I was twice voted best left-back in the world, four times the best left-back in the Premier League. Him, I don't even know if he was ever voted best left-back in the world.
I recall my first call-up to the national side, all the others shook my hand apart from him. Thierry Henry said to him, 'Oh Liza, here is the opposition.' And Lizarazu looked at me and said, 'Why? Someone told you that I was already retired?'.
People have a good impression of me, it won't be these tramps who dirty my image. They must stop lying to the French people.
In a statement, the FFF said:
Following the remarks made by Patrice Evra in an interview to Telefoot after France v Finland, president Noel Le Graet and coach Didier Deschamps, while recognising that no attack was made against the FFF, the France team, the coach or the players, have decided to ask Patrice Evra to come to explain certain statements about the broadcasters.
Lizarazu also made his feelings known, adding, "He blames us for dirtying his image, but he is doing a great job of it himself."