Soccer Player’s Girlfriend Sued After Twitter Rant At France Manager

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international500In just over three weeks’ time, the 2014 World Cup will kick off in Brazil. The thirty-two competing nations have all announced their squads for the tournament, which means that for all the players packing their suitcases and getting ready for a long flight, there will be some disappointed not to get called up to the biggest stage. One such player is Samir Nasri, who was left out of the France squad, despite a very successful season with Premier League champs Manchester City. One person who didn’t take that news well was Nasri’s girlfriend, Anara Atanes, who went online to curse out France manager Dider Deschamps, himself a former World Cup winner. From CNN:

“F*** France and F*** Deschamps! What a s*** manager,” the 26-year-old British model posted on her Twitter account.

“They are idiots! We all know what you meant! F*** the national team and that stupid coach! Nasri is a great player,” she tweeted.
You may think that being insulted is par for the course for a high-level coach like Deschamps, but this coach took it personally, and last week filed a civil defamation lawsuit against Atanes, “charging that she publicly insulted him.” Sound like a stretch? Don’t forget that defamation laws are a lot more strict in Europe. Index on Censorship discusses France in particular:

France’s libel laws make it easy to sue for defamation. Losing a libel case against a public official carries a higher fine (€45,000) than libel against a private individual (€12,000), which chills public interest criticism of politicians and government officials.

It’s interesting to read about cases like this and remember that the First Amendment is a pretty nice thing to have in this country. Of course, people here can still get into hot water for things they tweet, but blowing-off-steam postings like Atanes’ tend to be protected.
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