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Evra escapes punishment for 'parasites' outburst

ESPN staff
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France coach Deschamps had asked Evra to explain himself © AP
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Patrice Evra will not be punished by the French Football Federation after labeling four high-profile TV pundits as "tramps" and "parasites".

FFF president Noel Le Graet and France coach Didier Deschamps had asked Evra, 32, to explain himself after he hit out at critics in an extraordinary TV interview broadcast on Sunday.

In a statement, the FFF said Le Graet and Deschamps had met the Manchester United full-back on Thursday and had outlined their objection to some of the language he had used in the TF1 interview.

They were also unhappy that the player had chosen to settle scores in the build-up to the crucial World Cup playoff tie against Ukraine in November.

Evra reiterated his commitment to the France squad at the meeting and said he had never intended to harm the image of the team or French football.

The former France captain accepted that the timing was bad and that the use of certain words was inappropriate, according to the FFF statement.

But he also maintained that being the victim of what he considered relentless criticism from the four people targeted was a reality that his family had to suffer.

The FFF statement added: "This could explain, in the absence of justifying it, how he might have finished by cracking at the end of a long interview which was cleverly conducted to push him to the limit and to make him fly off the handle.

"In these circumstances, taking into account the explanation given, the regret shown by the player about the style used and in view of two matches which are decisive for the future of French football, the president Noel Le Graet has decided that Patrice Evra remains available to the national manager."

As a result, Evra will be available for France's World Cup play-off matches against Ukraine next month.

Former French players Bixente Lizarazu, Luis Fernandez and Rolland Courbis, as well as journalist Pierre Menes, were the four pundits that the left-back had taken issue with.

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