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France impose lengthy ban on Anelka

Nicolas Anelka's international career is all but over after France banned the striker for 18 games following his role in France's World Cup debacle. The 31-year-old Chelsea star was sent home by Les Bleus from South Africa after openly criticising then coach Raymond Domenech in an outburst at half-time during a group game.

Following the decision to send the forward home, the France squad then opted to pull out of training.

Captain at the time Patrice Evra led the revolt and was later involved in a bust-up with a fitness coach which was caught on camera.

The Manchester United full-back has been banned for five games by the FFF, while two other players have also been suspended.

Vice-captain Franck Ribery faces three games on the sidelines for his role, while Lyon midfielder Jeremy Toulalan is out for one.

Meanwhile, defender Eric Abidal, the fifth player called before the commission, escaped any punishment.

It remains to be seen if Anelka will make an announcement on whether he will now step down from international duty.

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