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You clowns

Nicolas Anelka has laughed off reports that he has been banned from playing for the France national team for 18 months by the French Football Federation, calling them a bunch of ‘clowns’ and that since the World Cup he has no interest in les Bleus.

In fact he and his agent had already decided prior to the tournament that he was not going to be playing for them again afterwards, making a mockery of the whole process. Understandably Anelka is less than charitable about his former superiors in the federation.

‘Who told them that I wanted to play in blue again?’ asked the Chelsea striker. ‘I should not even have been mentioned by this kind of commission. For me, ever since the South Africa World Cup, the French team is part of the past.

‘For me, this whole thing with the commission is an aberration, a masquerade to make sure they don't lose face. They have punished a void, as Nicolas Anelka never existed in this pitiful and colourful affair. I repeat: the page with les Bleus was turned on 19 June when I was evicted from Knysna. They are real clowns, these people ... I am doubled up with laughter.’

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