Evra: France loves controversy

Speaking ahead of the European Championship later this month, France defender Patrice Evra stated his belief that his country thrives on controversy.

France are faced with yet another unstable build-up to a major tournament, with striker Karim Benzema accusing coach Didier Deschamps of having bowed to the pressure of a racist part of the country by not picking him.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Les Bleus players publicly rebelled against former coach Raymond Domenech, disturbing harmony in the squad.

Evra, who was captain of the side back in 2010, feels there is no basis for Benzema's claims, adding that the focus should be on doing well in the competition as hosts and not on off-the-field issues.

"This is my country and I love it," Evra told reporters.

"We are in a country that loves controversy. We have a Euro to play in France and we talk nonsense. We must focus on the field.

"Everything that has been said around it, frankly, it did not make me mad because these are lies and it does not hold any truth.

"What is important is the training of just now to prepare for the match against Scotland. I understand the controversy, it helps to sell newspapers. I understand. But it is completely the wrong topic. It's ridiculous."