Anelka's parting shot at 'clowns' who banned him

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The Independent Football

Nicolas Anelka has described the French Football Federation as a "bunch of clowns" after it imposed an 18-game international ban on the striker for his role in the France team's World Cup revolt in South Africa.

The 31-year-old was suspended by an FFF disciplinary commission on Tuesday, a decision derided by Anelka, who said he never intended to play for France again anyway. "For me, that commission thing is absolute nonsense," Anelka was quoted as saying by the daily France Soir on Wednesday.

The striker was banished from the France squad in South Africa in June for insulting the then coach Raymond Domenech at half-time of the 2-0 World Cup defeat by Mexico in Polokwane.

"They just entertained the public," Anelka said of the commission hearing. "They better turn the page because [new France coach] Laurent Blanc needs to work in peace. These people are clowns. It makes me die of laughter," he added. "For me, since the World Cup in South Africa, the France team is all in the past. I wear a blue shirt with Chelsea every weekend and that's far enough for me."

Anelka did not attend the hearing, where World Cup captain Patrice Evra was banned for five matches for leading a boycott of a training session in support of Anelka. The FFF also banned Franck Ribéry for three games and Jérémy Toulalan for one. Eric Abdial was the only one of five players involved in Tuesday's hearing to escape punishment.