Ex-Arsenal star Nasri clashes with Ben Arfa

Dressing room bust-up revives France's World Cup demons

Hatem Ben Arfa was so angry at being substituted in France's 2-0 defeat by Sweden in their final Euro 2012 Group D match that he told coach Laurent Blanc he could send him home if he wished, L'Equipe said on Thursday.

The attacking midfielder, who earned a recall for the tournament after a stunning season for English Premier League side Newcastle, believed he was unfairly singled out in the match against a team that could not qualify, the sports newspaper said.

The daily added that the 25-year-old angered Blanc by talking on the phone when the team returned to the changing rooms after the match for a debriefing.

"Hatem you don't need to be ringing your family in here!" Blanc reportedly told the player.

Ben Arfa, who has had problems in the past with other coaches such as Didier Deschamps at Marseille, prompting his move to Newcastle, replied that he should not have been taken off as there were several other players "who were worse" than him.

That prompted an angry intervention by Samir Nasri, the newspaper said, adding that Ben Arfa ended with him telling Blanc that he could send him home if he wanted to.

Nasri, who himself courted controversy by celebrating his goal in the 1-1 draw with England by shouting "shut your face!" at a L'Equipe journalist whose criticism he believed had upset his sick mother, also had words with Alou Diarra.

Nasri took exception to Diarra's remark aimed at several players that their performances had been so bad that it was "not normal".

Florent Malouda, who came on as a substitute, said the situation remined him of the 2010 World Cup where Nicolas Anelka was sent home in disgrace for a foul-mouthed rant at coach Raymond Domenech, prompting a players' strike at a training session.

"What I saw awakened some demons in me," said the veteran Malouda.

France qualified second behind England in the group and go on to play Spain in the quarter-final in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Thursday.


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