Eric Cantona could face legal action from the French National Manager, Didier Deschamps after allegations that the former Man Utd legend suggested that race was the reason behind Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa’s omission from the Euro 2016 squad.
If France is going to win the 2016 European Championships, they will do so with one of their primary weapons sitting at home watching the action on the idiot box.
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has not made the cut for the Euro 2016 squad, and his absence has annoyed a certain Eric Cantona. Speaking to The Guardian amidst his 50th birthday celebrations the mercurial Frenchman believes the decision to leave Benzema at home, and only include Hatem Ben Arfa on the reserve list is a mistake, and his wording around reasoning has been tied in with the race card.
Speaking to The Guardian Canton likened the Deschamps family to the ‘Mormons in America’ and during an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche talked about the ‘disorder and division’ in the world, and how he wished for ‘all of France to be represented in the France team.’ He continued by stating France had an opportunity to ‘send a clear message to extremists’.
Both Ben Arfa and Benzema are of African descent.
There has been no official response from the French manager. However, his lawyer Carlo Alberto Brusa told the press that Deschamps believes this is an attack on his character. The French Football Federation President, Noel Le Graet, called Cantona’s suggestions a ‘pathetic attack.’
If Not Race, Then What?
While it may not be clear to Cantona, it is evident to the rest of the world that Benzema’s exclusion was down to his involvement in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal. Benzema allegedly acted as an intermediary between a childhood buddy and the French midfielder in a bid to blackmail him. Benzema has denied any wrongdoing but has been suspended from the French team ever since. However, he has continued to compete for his club, Real Madrid.
Ben Arfa’s exclusion from the squad isn’t a mystery either.
The Water Carrier
It’s not the first time that Cantona and Deschamps have clashed, and it won’t be the last. Despite finding a spot in Pele’s all-time Top 125 Greatest Living Footballers list, Deschamps was called a ‘water carrier’ by Cantona suggesting that the man who won 103 caps for his country only existed in the team to pass the ball to more accomplished players. Cantona also recently called Deschamps a ‘muppet’.
The FIFA legend (well EASports think so) is no stranger to controversy. In 1995, Cantona received a year ban from football when he jumped into the crowd at Selhurst Park to kung fu kick Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons. Cantona was reacting to abuse received from Simmons after being sent off moments earlier.
Cantona returned to the club after his ban to become an Old Trafford legend. The French don’t seem to concur. Cantona only won 45 caps for his country. He retired from football aged 30 to become an actor.
During his interview with The Guardian, Cantona told the reporter that he had little love for France.
“In terms of football, I am an Englishman. I have in my veins the English blue blood.”
Cantona has denied that his comments were suggestively racist adding ‘for those who want to believe that I added to anti-white racism, my answer is nothing but contempt.’
He also believes Deschamps should take the ‘Mormon’ comment as a compliment.
‘Ryan Gosling is Mormon and is the fantasy of every woman.’ Said Cantona.
France Are The Favourites
Despite Deschamps ignoring Benzema and Ben Arfa the hosts France are still the favourites to take the title.
The action kicks off Friday 10 June when France take on Romania in their opening Group A fixture.
To Win Odds
Fancy a Leicester?
Odds courtesy of Oddshark.com