I’ve heard of club VS national team debates before, but this might take it to a whole new level. The FFF (France’s Football Federation) recently opened a disciplinary case regarding five of the mutinous footballers that played for the French nation this summer in the World Cup. And it should be no surprise that Franck Ribery was listed as one of the players likely to receive some punishment from his national football’s unpatriotic actions of refusing to practice under beleaguered coach Domenech. Other footballers on the list include Nicolas Anelka, Eric Abidal, Jeremy Toulalan and captain Patrice Evra.
And apparently the FFF expects these footballers to immediately leave their selected club and rush back to their homeland in order to be properly punished for their dishonorable behavior at the South African hosted tournament. And with little time left before the start of the majority of top European leagues football kicking-off it appears that some of these clubs might refuse to comply with the national team’s judiciary request.
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge informed the French federation president Fernand Duchaussoy of the decision not to allow Ribery to leave the team in this brief written explanation:
It cannot be the case that the French federation arbitrarily hauls Franck Ribery out of his commitments at Bayern Munich. The club’s preparations for the new Bundesliga season now have priority over the French federation’s processing of the World Cup.
And although you have to sympathize with the FFF for what they have been through this summer and although I agree that these Frenchmen deserve a proper punishment, it appears that the timing couldn’t have been really any worse. With training going on for all of these players how can they leave their league club’s to appease the FFF right now? And wouldn’t an unauthorized departure from their active club be viewed as the wrong thing to do anyway?
The truth is that these players should be punished and they should be overlooked for future national team rosters because of their huge egos and inability to understand the concept of playing for a team or in this case your entire nation. But to assume that the league clubs wouldn’t mind their unexpected departure is almost as selfish a tactic as the players performed in South Africa.
The FFF should have sped up the hearing and performed the investigation close to the finish of the tournament rather then well over a month after it ended for the side. The FFF also should have individually contacted each team that had one of these footballers and explained when they would want the player to return home. but instead the FFF apparently contacted no one regarding these issues and expected all five of the players to return at the drop of a hat.
Well this approach is foolish for a variety of reasons, but the main reason being the fact that this entire investigation was poorly devised. The FFF should punish the players, but should not expect them to return this week when they are now property of their league teams.
Besides the FFF should know better anyway. Weren’t these the same guys that refused to show up practice, so what makes you think they would show up to a disciplinary hearing?