Ribéry and Evra expect jeers from France fans
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Tuesday 29 March 2011
Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra expect to attract boos and whistles tonight when they make their first home appearance for France since being banned for leading a mutiny during last year's World Cup.
Evra was banned for five games and Ribéry for three after France walked out of a training session in South Africa in protest at Nicolas Anelka being sent home.
The pair made a low-key return for France in Friday's 2-0 Euro 2012 qualifying win in Luxembourg and are set to feature in tonight's Stade de France friendly against Croatia.
"I think there will be whistles. It's going to be something a bit particular, with 80,000 spectators, we'll see what happens," Ribéry admitted. "You've just got to accept it, let it pass and move on."
Evra, the World Cup captain, is not worried about the effect on Laurent Blanc's in-form team. "I expect some boos. But the first people who whistle are the first who will ask for my shirt at the end," the left-back said.
Gaël Clichy, meanwhile, has admitted his disappointment at losing his place in the France side to the returning Evra. The Arsenal full-back played in Les Bleus' win over Luxembourg in October but was dropped from the squad altogether for the return on Friday night.
Clichy said he would not be demanding an explanation from Blanc but conceded he was saddened by how things had panned out. He said: "It's difficult to accept but it's part of the game. Even if there is no hierarchy, I know it's there. I'm not going to lie to you: it's disappointing."
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