Why did David Ginola sue his former France boss Gerard Houllier?
David Ginola is set to sue his former France boss Gerard Houllier following allegedly offensive comments about the player in the former Aston Villa manager’s new book Coaches’ Secrets.
In the book, Houllier outlines an episode that occured during France’s fateful final qualifier against Bulgaria for the 1994 World Cup, when Jean Pierre Papin and Eric Cantona were booed, after Ginola allegedly questioned their place in the team.
“PSG play at the Parc des Princes. PSG’s enemy is Marseille,” Houllier wrote “When he says that Papin and Cantona should not play and that he should play instead… he is a bastard because every time Papin or Cantona touched the ball, they were booed.”
The pair have a notorious acrimonious relationship that dates back to France’s qualifying campaign for the 1994 World Cup and that fateful game against Bulgaria.
Needing only a draw to qualify a and drawing 1-1 with a minute to go, Ginola invoked the permanent ire of Houllier after opting to put a cross into the Bulgaria box, rather than waste precious moments in the opposition corner flag.
Bulgaria subsequently scored, knocking France out of the tournament and leading the the famous rift.
As Houllier resigned from the position, he even took the opportunity to dig further at the former Newcastle United man saying:
“The adventure is over all too soon. With only 30 seconds remaining we were there but we got stabbed in the back and at the worst possible time.
“The referee still had his whistle to his mouth when Ginola won that free-kick near the corner flag, but then he goes and sends in a huge 60-metre cross instead of hanging on to the ball. That allowed Bulgaria to go and hit us on the counter.”
Is Eric Cantona running for President in France?
No, Eric Cantona’s announcement that he was to run for President of France was actually a publicity stunt aimed at promoting a campaign of providing housing for the needy.
His announcement was designed to generate discussion over public housing in France.
It began when French newspaper Liberation released a letter on its website that announced Cantona’s intention to run for president.
The letter was an appeal to mayor around France for 500 signatures of support “in the framework of the political debate that the country is involved in”.
For a number of hours, French radio stations were dominated by debate surrounding Eric Cantona’s suitability for the role.
The Liberation then published an interview in which Eric Cantona admitted that what he actually wanted was for the real presidential candidates to support the Fondation Abbe Pierre, a foundation focused on working to house the poor.
The foundation’s director Patrick Doutreligne then revealed that the “campaign” was created to draw public attention.
“We told ourselves we needed an extra kick” for a petition urging presidential candidates to make housing a campaign priority, he explained.
This petition calls on the next president to regulate rent and property prices, build more public housing and other measures.
He added that they had approached Cantona, asking him to pose as a candidate for the presidency for a limited time.
“He will not be a candidate,” he said.