FRANCE NATIONAL TEAM
Why is France coach Didier Deschamps suing a journalist over Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema?
Deschamps has won a World Cup and Nations League with France but RMC Sport journalist Daniel Riolo is less than impressed.
France head coach Didier Deschamps has filed a lawsuit against RMC Sport journalist Daniel Riolo, French daily newspaper Le Parisien reported on Thursday. The former Juventus and Chelsea midfielder attended a judicial court in Paris to file a complaint against the pundit, who was fiercely critical of the World Cup-winning boss during a radio broadcast.
What did Riolo say about Deschamps?
“Didier Deschamps has no problem with criticism, even if it is severe, but his legitimacy and honesty have been questioned here. Mr. Riolo told him that he was a manipulator and a liar, which are completely unacceptable claims”, declared Deschamps’ lawyer Isabelle Wekstein, speaking to AFP.
Deschamps’ handling of Benzema called into question
The dispute between the pair goes back the beginning of January, when the French Football Federation announced that they had extended Deschamps’ contract as national team manager. Noël Le Graët was still in his post as president of the FFF but would resign soon after after aiming disrespectful comments at French legend Zinedine Zidane. Riolo was less than impressed with how things unfolded and also lashed out at Deschamps’ handling of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema at the World Cup (the current Ballon d’Or holder left Qatar before a ball was kicked; Deschamps claims the injured Benzema left overnight of his own accord, which the attacker doesn’t appear to agree with...). “Deschamps has lied to us from A to Z, but lying is something that he does perfectly”, said Riolo.
Riolo, meanwhile called Le Graët “one of Deschamps’ puppets” in the immediate aftermath of the announcement of Deschamps’ contract extension. ‘Intolerable’ is the word the France coach has used to describe the accusations made by the journalist, who is no stranger to controversy. In 2019, he was taken off RMC Sport for comments made about a young woman who had accured Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar of rape.
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