Manchester United legend Eric Cantona facing racism lawsuit from Didier Deschamps

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Former Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona is facing legal action from fellow French legend Didier Deschamps over a defamation claim.

Local media claims the case centres on an interview Cantona gave to the Guardian in May 2016, when he claimed Deschamps, now the France coach, refused to call up Karim Benzema and Hartem Ben Arfa because of racism.

Cantona, who starred for United between 1992 and 1997, suggested that Deschamps had ignored the pair because of their North African origins, rather than their footballing ability.

He also likened Deschamps to a "mormon" because of the way his family had remained purely French and not married or produced children with people from other nationalities.

In response Deschamp's lawyer, Carlo Alberto Brusa, has told radio station RMC that Deschamps will sue Cantona for defemation.

Cantona remains one of the most charismatic and outspoken people in football, 20 years on from his shock retirement from United at the age of 31.

During his time at Old Trafford he won the Premier League four times and was instrumental in the club's emergence as a global superpower under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since retirement he has pursued a career as an actor and regularly gives media interviews about Premier League and international football.

Most recently he said that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola would be more appropriate for United than the club's current boss Jose Mourinho - a claim which didn't go down well with many fans on both sides of the city's footballing divide.