Paris - Former France international footballer Franck Ribery
on Thursday lost an appeal against the author of a book in which he was
described as "scum".
A Paris appeals court upheld the original judgement from
last January but overturned a €5 000 fine against the 32-year-old footballer
for abusive proceedings.
In his 2013 book 'Racaille Football Club' (Scum Football
Club) about French football, journalist Daniel Riolo examined the
disenchantment of the French public with their national team.
Riolo accused Ribery of being one of the main perpetrators
of the discontent within the squad and used several derogatory words to
describe him - "scarface", "scum" and "gangster".
The Bayern winger sued the journalist and his publisher Hugo
& Cie for damages but the judge ruled in January that the terms had been
used "objectively" and that the lawsuit was "reckless".
Ribery was subsequently ordered to pay a total of €5 000 to
Riolo and his publisher, with the judge citing Roselyne Bachelot, the French
sports minister, who during the 2010 World Cup referred to some of the French
team as "gangsters".
The appeals court ruled on Thursday that the disputed
passages of the book were not "the expression of the author's opinion, but
the relationship (of Ribery) with the media and public opinion".