Tag Archives: France

Ribery and Benzema face new prostitution related charges in France

By Kevin Koczwara

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything about Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema’s alleged solicitation of a prostitute when she was just 16 years old. In 2010 the news broke ahead of the World Cup in South Africa that the two players — two very important players for the French National Team —  had both had sexual relations with Zahia Dehar, who was 16 at the time of the transgression — she was 18 when she told press and police. The two players apparently didn’t know her age and Dehar backed them up on this in the reports.

We all seemed to have forgotten this news, but like most things involving professional athletes, stories never die. Now this one won’t go away. It looks like Ribery and Benzema — two players who took part in Euro2012 for France — are likely to face new charges related to their solicitation of sex.

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Few Days Later, France and USA

By Ryan Fleming

Now that we’ve all had a chance to breath, to pick up those chairs we’ve knocked over, to put away our respirators, and to go to the local grocer to buy more tissues after the United States Women’s National Team pulled off, in simple terms, one heck of a win over Brazil. The Yanks now face a French team that showed guts, not more than the English team they beat in penalty kicks, but are arguably the most skilled team and possess the most skilled free kick specialist and some of the most deadly wingers in the tournament.

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France feeling Bleu

By Ryan Fleming

Nothing is right in the French world. Even the motivational Les Marseillaise, the French national anthem, whose words were handed to each player before the match, couldn’t inspire Les Bleus ahead of Friday night’s Euro 2012 qualifier. At France’s helm stands a confused and certainly frustrated Laurent Blanc, a manager that left a once-promising club, Bordeaux, with feelings of doubt after ending the ‘09/’10 campaign with a 2-5-2 record; failing to qualify for European play this season.

France international coach, Laurent Blanc, hasn't had much reason to smile. (Courtesy cvrcak1)

Les Bleus forgot what it feels like to win and their supporters, whose passions lie undoubtedly with their national team than any domestic club, are surely fed up after France’s 1-0 defeat to Belarus Friday night. After being embarrassed in the World Cup and equally humiliating the nation that they represent, Blanc has more pressure on him now than perhaps at anytime in his past.

“The hardest thing is football is scoring. We could not do it,” Blanc told Sky Sports. “The current situation is difficult, we have to fight on.”

The suspensions handed out after the almost-literal coup d’etat that occurred internally within the team during the World Cup this summer, has directly caused the team to suffer. With the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Patrice Evra, Jeremy Toulalan and Franck Ribery out due to suspension, Blanc’s job is that much harder. Anelka’s situation, though, is a bit different.

The forward was suspended for 18 games after not showing up to a hearing in front of the French Football Federation, effectively ending his international career. A ban that Anelka laughed at.

“This whole thing is a nonsense, to turn the page because [new coach] Laurent Blanc needs to be able to work in peace,” Anelka told France Soir. “These people are clowns. I’m dying with laughter,” he added.

Anelka’s suspension is the lengthiest – 13 games more than Evra’s five-game suspension.

Despite the avalanche of trouble, there are signs of hope ahead for Les Bleus in their upcoming game against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Karim Benzema, one of France’s most lethal strikers, who was mysteriously left out of its World Cup squad, will be fit for Tuesday night’s clash. But for Blanc, he’ll need more than a striker and a national anthem to rouse his troops. The question is, when will he find it?

Ryan Fleming is a contributing writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at Ryan.Fleming@thesoccerguysonline.com.

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France ready after miserable summer

Marseille striker Loic Remy is one of several younger players France has turned to after its disgraceful showing at the World Cup. (Photo Courtesy Fabio Dekker)

By Michael King

At the international level, 18 games is an eternity. With friendlies scattered sparingly throughout the soccer season and major tournaments only once every few years, opportunities for international success can be elusive.

And for the French Football Federation, that’s exactly the point.

The organization suspended maligned striker Nicolas Anelka, 31, for precisely that length Tuesday afternoon, effectively ending his international career.

The FFF also suspended former captain Patrice Evra for five games and handed down lesser bans to Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan for their roles in the team’s off-the-field antics during June’s World Cup. Continue reading

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The Rise of Gonzalo Higuain

By Cameron Dickinson

There have been few players to stand out during the opening week or so of the World Cup. Indeed only one player has caught the world’s attention – Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.

The Argentine has timed his rise to prominence to perfection, and, now, with the Albiceleste qualified for the Round of 16, he has reached the peak of his young career.

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Most and Least Impressive Teams of Round 2

Courtesy sam_herd Flickr

By Kevin Koczwara, Ryan Fleming, and Joe Meloni

We have already looked at the teams that performed the best and the teams that played the worst in the first round of play of the World Cup. Now it is time for us to pick the teams that overachieved and the underachieved in the second round of play.

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Most and Least Impressive Teams Through Round 1

By Kevin Koczwara and Ryan Fleming

Every team has played a game in the World Cup Finals now. It took almost a week for each team to play a game in their group, but it was well worth the time it took because there have been some great games and only a few stinkers (France and Uruguay for sure). Now it’s time for Ryan and Kevin to look back on the week that was and pick a few teams that stood out to them, for good and bad reasons.

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Who Won't Win The World Cup Part 1: Group A

By Ryan Thies of The Long Beach Post

I have had the distinct pleasure of spending time in four different countries involved in the World Cup (five, if you count El Paso, Texas as Mexico) and as a result I feel uniquely qualified to make some predictions. Besides just El Paso and America at large, I have also been to Argentina, Brazil, and England, so the odds are in my favor that one of “my” countries will actually win the whole thing. But each of those teams, like the entire field, have their Achilles’ heels.

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Cheating: An Epidemic

Cheating doesnt just happen on the playing field, it happens in everyday life as well. Tiger Woods may be the best golfer on the planet, but his cheating has lead him to be the black sheep of all cheating husbands and wives. (Courtesy WikiCommons/Keith Allison)

Cheating doesn't just happen on the playing field, it happens in everyday life as well. Tiger Woods may be the best golfer on the planet, but his cheating has lead him to be the black sheep of all cheating husbands and wives. (Courtesy WikiCommons/Keith Allison)

By Ryan Fleming

We have seen it in soccer and other sports. And we’ve seen spouses do it to each other, most recently Tiger Woods to his  wife, Swedish model, Elin Nordegren. Cheating unfortunately is almost a part of life, a part that a great majority of us would like to remove sooner rather than later. It’s also a part that many like to hide for fear of repercussion and humiliation. Why do it then?

Unfortunately,  the terrible deed is spreading like a contagious disease with no end in sight. The football world is now being effected and FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) is now conducting their investigation.

Match fixing has spanned through nine countries and has reared it’s ugly head in over 200 known Champions League and Europa League matches. Again, the question arises, why? As the investigation continues it’s teams in the lowly bottom divisions of countries like Croatia, Switzerland and Germany where football is a part of life and so much, perhaps too much, money can be made.

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