Patrice Evra, who captained France in their farcical 2010 World Cup implosion, has raised the temperature again after becoming embroiled in a row with former fellow internationals turned pundits.
Evra has been summoned by coach Didier Deschamps and the French federation after he said his critics, including former tournament winners Bixente Lizarazu and Luis Fernandez, were "bums". His interview, cut to edit out comments that could have been defamatory, was aired on Sunday on French channel TF1.
Although Deschamps hinted on Sunday that he could be lenient, the federation may be tempted to be more severe.
On the pitch, everything seemed to be clicking for France, who won their final two qualifiers and scored 13 goals in their last three games to finish second in group I behind Spain and go into the play-offs, where last night's draw in Zurich matched them against Ukraine.
But Evra has put his team on shaky ground again, less than a month before the November 15 and 19 play-off ties.
"I was wondering why today's leaders were the same as in 2010 in South Africa. After what happened at the World Cup, there were reasons to be worried," Lizarazu told L'Equipe yesterday. "Well, Patrice Evra's interview confirms my opinion."
The Manchester United fullback was banned for five international games for his role in the 2010 World Cup fiasco.
After two decent performances with Les Bleus, Evra lashed out at his critics in the interview, saying: "My public image is good. It's not these bums who will tarnish my image."