French World Cup revolt reviewed at hearing

PARIS - The French Football Federation (FFF) held a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday to consider the role of former international captain Patrice Evra and four other players in the team's World Cup revolt.

The federation's disciplinary body was expected to announce its conclusions later on Tuesday or on Wednesday.

NEWS: France ban mutineers

Evra, Nicolas Anelka, Franck Ribery, Eric Abidal and Jeremy Toulalan could face sanctions up to life bans from the French team.

"The players now realise that they should never have done such a thing," former France team director Jean-Louis Valentin, who testified during the hearings, told reporters as he left the FFF building in the centre of Paris.

"We have to acknowledge that and they deserve another chance... Let's close this chapter and start another one," he added.

No other official or player talked to the media after the hearings, during which former coach Raymond Domenech and outgoing FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes also spoke.

Although the five players had been summoned by the FFF, Ribery did not appear as his club Bayern Munich had refused to release him, while striker Anelka was nowhere to be seen.

Les Bleus boycotted a training session in South Africa in June in support of Anelka, who was banished from the squad for insulting Domenech.

Two days later, they suffered a shock first-round exit from the World Cup with a 2-1 defeat by hosts South Africa.

Laurent Blanc, who succeeded Domenech as coach after the World Cup, refused to pick any of the 23 players involved in the boycott for his first game in charge, a 2-1 defeat in Norway earlier this month.

France start their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a home game against Belarus on September 3.

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