The dispute between the two men dates back to the eve of Euro-2016, when Didier Deschamps accused Eric Cantona of defaming him when he said in the British daily The Guardian that Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa were not selected because of their origins.
The Paris Court of Appeal invalidated the defamation complaint of the Blues coach against the former Manchester United player, confirming the cancellation of any trial in this case, Agence France-Presse learned on Monday (September 13). judicial source.
In December 2020, the Paris Criminal Court, however, declared Didier Deschamps’ complaint null for a procedural reason. He considered that the way in which the complaint was drafted was such as to “Generate uncertainty as to the extent of the facts for which the defendant had to answer”, that is, the words targeted by the defamation were not clearly defined.
Mr. Deschamps had lodged an appeal, and the court of appeal confirmed the first instance decision on September 9. “Mr. Eric Cantona, who has always accepted the words he had made in the past, is pleased with this victory which puts an end to a procedure that he considered unfounded”, said in a statement the lawyer of the former Manchester United player. Didier Deschamps’ lawyer, Carlo Alberto Brusa, did not wish to speak.
“One thing is certain, Benzema, [alors exclu des Bleus à cause de sa mise en examen dans l’affaire de la sextape visant son partenaire Mathieu Valbuena] and Hatem Ben Arfa [alors sur la liste des réservistes, et finalement non retenu] are the two best players in France and they will not play the Euro. What is also certain is that their origins are North African. So yes, the debate is open ”, Eric Cantona said on May 26, 2016.
“Deschamps has a name that sounds very French. It is perhaps the only one in France to have such a French name. No one has ever mingled with anyone in their family. Like Mormons in America ”, he added. Didier Deschamps then immediately filed a defamation complaint.