NYON: UEFA president Michel Platini is baffled by superstars, such a Germany’s World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm and fellow Frenchman Franck Ribery, who have walked away from national team football.
The head of the European federation has said he has “zero understanding” of players taking such decisions into their own hands.
He said: “If it was agreed between Lahm and his national team coach, Joachim Löw, who no longer picked him, that’s one thing. But basically it should not be a decision for Lahm but for Low.
“Also with Ribery. He cannot simply decide whether he plays for France or not. If coach Didier Deschamps selects him, he must answer the national team call. This is set out in FIFA statutes.
“If he does not turn up then he should be suspended for three club games with Bayern Munich.
“I do not understand him at all. He is French and the 2016 European Championship finals will take place in France, not in Poland.”
Ribery missed this year’s World Cup finals because of back problems. Last month he said he felt that, after 81 internationals, he has had enough of playing for the French national team.
On other issues Platini repeated his opposition to technological assistance for referees, reiterated his support for a World Cup in Qatar – albeit in a winter slot – and denied that he was “afraid” to run next year against Sepp Blatter for the presidency of world federation FIFA.
Platini said he had not written off running for the top job in world football at a future date but was insistent that Blatter should not.
He said: “I think Blatter should not be standing. FIFA has a terrible reputation, which is even exacerbated by Blatter. Football is damaged by it.
“It would not even surprise me if he stands again asa candidate in 2019. With Sepp anything is possible.”
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