Blanc continues Evra exile

France coach Laurent Blanc on Thursday omitted former skipper Patrice Evra from his squad to face Brazil in a 9 February friendly at Stade de France.

Manchester United defender Evra had been available for selection after serving a five-match suspension following his leading role in last summer's player strike during the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.

But Blanc had been under some pressure to prolong his spell in the cold after French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno demanded last week the FIFA World Cup rebels apologise before donning the national shirt again.

Blanc nonetheless insisted he would make his own decision and not succumb to outside pressure on who he should and should not select. While leaving out Evra - fellow rebel Franck Ribery has also served a ban but is currently injured - Blanc called Arsenal central defender Laurent Koscielny into the squad for the first time.