Rennes president defends M'Vila over ban

Yann M'Vila broke a curfew prior to a France under=21 game. Photo: PA

Rennes president Frederic de Saint-Sernin has defended Yann M'Vila after the midfielder's "excessive" two-year ban from the France national team.

The French Football Federation suspended the Rennes midfielder from all national sides until June 30, 2014 after he and four team-mates broke a curfew to visit a Parisian nightclub just days before a key game with the Under-21 side, against Norway in the European Championship play-offs last month.

The other players involved - M'Baye Niang, Antoine Griezmann, Chris Mavinga and Wissam Ben Yedder - are suspended until the end of the year. Griezmann scored in the match but France still lost 5-3, and 6-3 on aggregate.

Saint-Sernin told radio station Europe 1: "It is excessive, very harsh and disproportionate.

"They have deprived him of the next World Cup and, equally, deprived the France team of Yann M'Vila, who I know and who is a big player."

The fall-out from the play-off defeat also saw coach Erick Mombaerts leave his post with the Under-21 team.