The Paris Court of Appeal invalidated the defamation complaint of the Blues coach Didier Deschamps against Eric Cantona, confirming the cancellation of any trial in this case, AFP learned Monday from a judicial source. Didier Deschamps accused Eric Cantona of defaming him on the eve of Euro 2016 when he said in the British daily The Guardian that Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa were not selected because of their origins.
In December 2020, the Paris Criminal Court, however, declared his complaint void 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 to which the defendant had to answer”, that is to say that the remarks covered by the defamation were not were not clearly defined.
“An unfounded procedure” for Canto
Didier Deschamps had lodged an appeal and the Court of Appeal confirmed the first instance decision on September 9. “Mr. Eric Cantona, who has always assumed the words he had made in the past, welcomes 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, Karim Benzema (excluded from the Blues because of his indictment in the case of the sextape targeting his partner Mathieu Valbuena) and Hatem Ben Arfa (then on the list of reservists, ultimately not retained), this 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 the Mormons in America, ”he added. Didier Deschamps then immediately filed a defamation complaint.