Former France striker Nicolas Anelka has lost his case for damages over offensive remarks attributed to him during the 2010 World Cup which led to his banishment from the tournament.
French newspaper L'Equipe published the phrase it said was uttered by the Chelsea player to coach Raymond Domenech at halftime of the defeat by Mexico. France went on strike after Anelka had been sent home and the side crashed out in the group stage.
A tribunal prosecutor said on Friday that although there was a debate about the exact remarks, their offensive nature was not contested.
Anelka had demanded 150,000 euros ($212,835) in damages, saying that what was said in a dressing room was confidential.
L'Equipe said it had several sources for the story and pointed out that no one had quibbled when a documentary filmed the dressing room during France's triumphant 1998 World Cup campaign.