A Paris court on Monday dismissed a defamation suit filed by Manchester United legend Eric Cantona against France coach Didier Deschamps.
Cantona claimed that Deschamps had snatched Karim Benzema and Hatim Ben Arfa because of their “North African descent”.
A Paris court had already quashed the case in December 2020 for a number of reasons.
He argued that the manner in which the complaint was drafted did not clearly define the defamation case.
Deschamps appealed against the original decision but the appeal decision upheld the previous decision. Deschamps no longer has legal recourse in France.
A statement issued by Cantona’s legal team following Monday’s ruling read: Eliminates what he considers baseless. “
Deschamps lawyer Carlo Alberto Brusa did not comment.
Cantona’s remarks caused a stir ahead of Euro 2016 in France, where the hosts eventually lost to Portugal in the final.
“One thing is for sure – Benzema and Ben Arfa are the two best players in France and will not play in the European Championships. And of course, Benzema and Ben Arfa are their original North Africans. So, the debate is open,” Cantona said. Told the British newspaper The Guardian in May 2016.
Cantona, who won 45 caps for France between 1987 and 1995, has in the past been highly critical of his former teammate Deschamps, who in 1996 called him a “waste water carrier”.
The former Marseille and Leeds United striker retired in 1997 before embarking on a career in cinema. In 2007, he married Franco Algerian actress Richida Breckney.
The expulsion of Benzema from Algeria resulted in an alleged attempt by a friend to blackmail an international teammate, Matthew Valbina, through a sex tape.
Tunisian-born Ben Arfa was hoping to make the squad after resuming his career in Nice, but instead had to make it to the stand-by list of eight Deschamps players.