NICOLAS ANELKA was last night hit with an 18-match international suspension by the French Football Federation for his involvement in France’s World Cup debacle.
Les Bleus’ campaign descended into farce after Chelsea striker Anelka was sent home following an altercation with coach Raymond Domenech, prompting the rest of the squad to go on strike.
The ban effectively ends 31-year-old Anelka’s international career.
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra was also handed a five-month ban, Franck Ribery a three-match ban and Jeremy Toulalan was banned for one game. Eric Abidal and the rest of the 23-man squad escaped further punishment.
France finished bottom of their World Cup group with one point and one goal from their three matches.
IN THE DOCK | FOOTBALL’S LONGEST BANS
Willie Woodburn (Rangers, 1954) – Banned for life after being sent off three times for retaliation.
English football - Banned from playing in Europe for five years following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985.
Mark Bosnich (Chelsea, 2002) – Received a nine-month ban for failing a drugs test for cocaine.
Paddy Kenny (Sheff Utd, 2008) _ Also banned for nine months for testing positive for Ephedrine.
Eric Cantona (Man Utd, 1995) – Banned for eight months and fined £10,000 for a kung-fu kick on Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmonds.
Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd, 2003) – Banned for eight months for missing a routine drugs test.
Adrian Mutu (Chelsea, 2004) – Received a seven-month ban for failing a drugs test for cocaine