France news

Nasri 'regret' over tirade

France midfielder uses Twitter to say he is sorry if his words shocked fans

ESPN staff

France midfielder Samir Nasri has taken to Twitter to express “regret” over his outburst at journalists after Laurent Blanc’s side had crashed out of Euro 2012 against Spain.

The Manchester City midfielder, who replaced Florent Malouda after 65 minutes as the French chased the game, was asked to comment after the match by French journalists. He responded by saying: "You're always looking for stories," before returning to add: “Go f*** yourself."

Nasri had celebrated his goal in France’s first group game, against England, by putting a finger to his mouth in a shushing gesture reported to have been aimed at journalists who had angered him.

His outburst in the aftermath of the Spain game led to speculation that he could be banned from international football for two years as the French Football Federation prepared to meet to discuss the aftermath of a Euro 2012 campaign blighted by rows and controversy.

Nasri tweeted that he “loves the France national team and has a deep respect for the public” and that contrary to “untruths” he “sincerely regrets that supporters, and especially children, had been shocked by my words.”

He explained that the situation is “a personal matter between several journalists and me... I will explain when the time is right.”

Speaking on Tuesday, French defender Bacary Sagna said squad unrest and infighting had cost France their chance of glory at Euro 2012, adding that he believed Blanc’s side could and should have gone further.

Sagna said Nasri, a former team-mate a Arsenal, “speaks his mind” when something “does not please him,” adding: “He can have a violent reaction, but you have to share your responsibilities.

“When someone attacks the press, it will not go away. With the excitement of the game and everything that was written about him, it was perhaps not the right time to respond. He should have kept his cool but it weighed on him.

“The Euros had not even started and the press had already criticised him. Everyone is human.”

France had gone into Euro 2012 on the back of an impressive unbeaten run, but tensions surfaced after a 2-0 defeat to Sweden in their final group game - when a row broke out in the dressing room - and they exited the tournament meekly after losing to the Spanish by the same scoreline.

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