European football news

Ben Yedder appeal heard

January 16, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Wissam Ben Yedder said he had tried to be "as honest as possible" as he attempted to get his ban from representing France until 2014 overturned.

Ligue 1
AssociatedBen Yedder was one of five France Under-21 players who made the infamous nightclub trip

The promising Toulouse forward, 22, was one of five players, including Rennes' Yann M'Vila, who took a taxi from Le Havre on the Normandy coast to a nightclub on Paris' Champs-Elysees while on duty with France's Under-21 side in October.

The incident, which occurred between the two legs of Les Bleuets' unsuccessful play-off with Norway for a place in next summer's Under-21 European Championship in Israel, led to the French Football Association (FFF) coming down heavily on the quintet.

While three of the players, Rennes' Chris Mavinga, Real Sociedad's Antoine Griezmann and AC Milan's Mbaye Niang, decided not to contest the decision to ban them from playing for their country until January 2014, Ben Yedder did appeal.

"I tried to be as honest, as natural as possible. I hope they understood me," Ben Yedder, who was accompanied by his lawyer at Tuesday's half-hour-long hearing. "I explained to them what happened, how they came looking for me and what happened during the evening."

The FFF's nine-man Superior Appeals Commission may not make public its decision on Ben Yedder until M'Vila's appeal has been heard on February 5. The midfielder, who had been recalled to the Under-21 squad after featuring for the senior side at Euro 2012, was banned from international football until 30 June 2014 for his role in the incident.