Evra keen to play for France again

PARIS - French defender Patrice Evra, facing sanctions for leading a player revolt at the World Cup, does not understand why he should be punished and wants to wear his country's colours again.

Evra was captain of the team that boycotted a training session in South Africa in support of striker Nicolas Anelka, who was banished from the squad for insulting coach Raymond Domenech.

The Manchester United defender was one of five players summoned by the French Football Federation (FFF) to face a disciplinary hearing scheduled for later this month.

World Cup-winning full-back and now FFF official Lilian Thuram believes Evra should never play for France again but the player himself would prefer not to dwell on the events in South Africa.

"I am surprised because I had the impression everybody wanted to turn the World Cup page," Evra told French daily Le Figaro in an interview released on Monday.

"We need to think about the future. Why sanction us (the five players summoned) more than others ?"

Laurent Blanc, who has since taken over from Domenech as coach, opted to leave out all 23 members of the World Cup squad for France's next match, a friendly against Norway in Oslo on Wednesday.

Following that match, however, the suspended players will be free to return to the squad and Evra is confident of a recall.

"I can't see my future without the France team," he told Le Figaro.

The 29-year-old also said there was no dialogue between the players and the coach at the World Cup and the decision to expel Anelka was unfair.

The five summoned by the FFF are Evra, Anelka, Eric Abidal, Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan.

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