PARIS (AP) — Patrice Evra is in trouble again with the national team after being summoned by France coach Didier Deschamps and the French Football Federation's president to explain comments he made during a television interview.
In an interview with Telefoot aired Sunday, Evra criticized commentators in the French media — including former France left back Bixente Lizarazu — calling them "tramps" and "parasites" and claiming they had tried to turn public opinion against him.
Evra was France's captain during the 2010 World Cup when the team refused to train after Nicolas Anelka was sent home for insulting coach Raymond Domenech. After the tournament, he was banned by the FFF for five games over his role in the team's strike.
Evra, who plays for Manchester United, has been part of the France team which failed to qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup.
The FFF said Sunday its president Noel Le Graet and Deschamps want Evra to explain his remarks.
Although "no attack was made against the FFF, the France team, the coach or the players" the federation wants" Patrice Evra to come and explain certain comments aimed at television consultants."
Deschamps, speaking later on French television, said "I regret the comments made" by Evra.
"We will ask him for an explanation, which I think is perfectly normal," Deschamps said. "He can think these things, but to say them isn't a good thing."
Deschamps was Evra's coach when Monaco reached the 2004 Champions League final.
"I know him as player and a person," Deschamps said. "But I'm treating him like I would any other player." He added that Evra will "never be captain" of France again while he's in charge.
The timing of Evra's interview is poor given that France has a World Cup playoff to prepare for next month.
In it, a visibly irate Evra said "it's not these tramps (in the media) who are going to sully my image" referring to television and radio pundits like Lizarazu, former France midfielder Luis Fernandez, former Marseille coach Rolland Courbis and Pierre Menes, an outspoken pundit. He named all four during the interview.
"They have to stop lying to the French. I have a good image in France, not to mention abroad," Evra said. "After the World Cup, before we left I told all the players 'Go home, go on holiday, because the only one who's getting it in the neck is going to be me.' And that's what happened."
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