Football: Ginola suing Houllier for 1993-linked 'defamation'

14th November 2011, Comments 1 comment

Former France international David Ginola is suing Gerard Houllier for slanderous and defamatory remarks made in a recent book by the the ex-national team manager, his lawyer said Monday.

Houllier resigned from his post as France manager in 1993 after their dramatic failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Ranked as one of France's biggest sporting setbacks, Ginola was widely vilified for failing to intercept a cross which Bulgaria's Emil Kostadinov picked up and smashed into the net to secure a 2-1 win in the 89th minute.

Eighteen years on Houllier has not forgotten or forgiven, labelling Ginola a "salaud" (bastard) in his new book "Secrets des Coachs" (Coaches' Secrets) for his role in the defeat.

But having refused to act on scathing criticism from Houllier in the past, Ginola -- according to his lawyer Jean-Claude Guidicelli -- has had enough.

He has summoned Houllier to a top court in Toulon on December 12 to answer charges of "slander and defamation".

"David Ginola has summoned Gerard Houllier to answer charges of slander and defamation," Guidicelli told AFP.

"Once again, in his book "Secrets des Coachs" (Coaches' Secrets) Gerard Houllier has called Mr Ginola a bastard for having failed to intercept a cross in a qualifying match against Bulgaria for the 1994 World Cup.

"It is not the first time Gerard Houllier has done this. Two years ago he made disparaging remarks during a television show and on that occasion we showed him the yellow card, inviting him to be a little more measured and discerning.

"This time, he has gone too far. David Ginola has decided to show him the red card."

The episode effectively forced Ginola to quit France and resurrect his career in England where he went on to play for Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton.

The lawyer added: "David had to leave France for England, and his son, who was just starting out in football at the time, was jeered as soon as he came on to the pitch."

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • jamac posted:

    on 15th November 2011, 16:48:38 - Reply

    So what he didn't intercept the cross
    probably the cross was too good and thats why the french didn't go
    through. I have seen ginola play he is one of the best footballers i have
    seen play in the epl up there with likes of zola, dicanio. Houllier is just trying to deflect his own failers as a national coach.