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Four France soccer players disciplined after World Cup meltdown

August 17, 2010 | 10:40 am

Anelka_400 Nicolas Anelka was banned for 18 matches by the French Football Federation for his role in France's World Cup meltdown in June.

Anelka, who was sent home during the World Cup after a profane verbal attack on then-coach Raymond Domenech, received the most severe punishment from the FFF during Tuesday's disciplinary hearing in Paris.

“We wanted Anelka's sanction to set an example,” said Jean Mazzella, the disciplinary commission president.

World Cup captain Patrice Evra, who was benched for the team's final World Cup match against South Africa and was viewed as a leader of the player rebellion over the expulsion of Anelka, was banned for five matches. Franck Ribery received a three-game ban, and Jeremy Toulalan was banned for one game. Éric Abidal was not sanctioned.

The players have the right to appeal the decision, according to CNN.

-- Chuck Schilken

Reuters contributed to this report.

Photo: Nicolas Anelka during the World Cup in June. Credit: Oliver Weiken / EPA